Yesterday KWV The Mentors new vintage launch at The Test Kitchen in Woodstock. The company was best producer at Veritas in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as well at Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2012 and again this year thanks in large part to the wines that are emerging under The Mentors label and the new stuff is again pretty damn smart. The whites shade the reds in terms of quality but then that’s so often the case locally.
The 2013 whites in the range are all R160 a bottle. Tasting notes and scores as follows:
KWV The Mentors Chenin Blanc 2013
60% Agter-Paarl, 30% Swartland, 10% Stellenbosch. Peach, some nuttiness and oak spice. Great fruit purity and lively acidity. Persistent finish.
KWV The Mentors Verdelho 2013
Stellenbosch. 50% natural fermentation, 50% fermented with a non-saccharomyces yeast. Shy nose but peach and pineapple plus a little nuttiness on the palate. Has great presence in the mouth offset by lip-smacking acidity – really compelling.
KWV The Mentors Semillon 2013
Darling. Lime and white peach. Good concentration, driving acidity. Clean and correct.
KWV The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – Stellenbosch
Peach and white pepper. Concentrated fruit and bright acidty – well balanced.
KWV The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013
Darling. 90:10 blend. Lime and white peach, subtle herbal edge. Good weight, coated acidity.
KWV The Mentors Chardonnay 2013
Elgin. Lime and lemons plus attractive oak. Weighty but plenty of character.
KWV The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – Darling
Lime plus a definite herbal edge. Super-concentrated, bone-dry finish.
The 2012 reds in the range are all R250 a bottle.
KWV The Mentors Orchestra 2012
W.O. Coastal Region. 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 17% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 4% Malbec. Red and black fruit, violets, cigar box. Good fruit concentration, well managed oak – full but balanced. Very difficult to fault even if it doesn’t exactly stir the soul.
KWV The Mentors Petit Verdot 2012
Stellenbosch. Lovely black fruit, fresh acidity and fine, mouth-coating tannins.
KWV The Mentors Shiraz 2012
Paarl. Black fruit, lilies, pepper and attractive oak. Sleek and super-concentrated but the acidity is bright and the tannins nicely ripe.
KWV The Mentors Pinotage 2012
Stellenbosch. Black cherry plus vanilla, chocolate and a hint of tar. Forceful with super-ripe fruit and firm tannins.
KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2012
Stellenbosch. Red and black fruit, fresh acidity, firm tannins. Undoubtedly well-made but a bit anodyne.
KWV The Mentors Canvas 2012
W.O. Coastal Region. 45% Shiraz, 25% Tempranillo, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache. Red and black fruit, pepper and fynbos. Rich and quite broad, slightly sweet but nice ripe tannins. Possesses an appealing wildness but not completely convincing.
KWV The Mentors Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
From Darling, Stellenbosch and Paarl. Super-ripe fruit and smooth-textured. Overwhelming.
Finally, a sweet wine:
KWV Noble Late Harvest 2013 (R200 per 375ml bottle)
Walker Bay. 100% Sauvignon Blanc, Lime and peach plus some honey although not quite as much botrytis character as 2012. Really focused with great fruit concentration offset by bright acidity.