KWV The Mentors Grenache Blanc 2017 vs 2018

By , 20 February 2020

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Both the 2017 and 2018 vintages of Grenache Blanc under KWV’s top-end The Mentors label are available at R130 a bottle from the company’s Wine Emporium in Paarl.

Ostensibly, they appear quite similar but I ultimately preferred the 2018. Whereas 66% of grapes for the 2017 came from Stellenbosch, 16% Paarl, 11% Wellington and 7% Robertson, the 2018 comes equally from Paarl and Wellington. The 2017 is higher in alcohol at 14.12% compared to the 2018 at 13.35% while both wines have extraordinarily low pH levels, the 2017 measuring 2.93 and the 2018 2.97.

That lower alcohol serves the 2018 well, a slight waxy note to go with citrus and herbs on the nose while the palate is medium bodied and well balanced – good fruit definition matched by tangy acidity, the finish nicely pithy.

CE’s rating: 92/100.

The 2017 is an altogether bigger wine – stone fruit and pineapple plus spice on the nose, the palate rich and broad, the finish gently savoury. For me, it doesn’t have the same clarity and drive as the subsequent vintage.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

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