In the mix with The Mentors

Earlier this month we spent a day in the heart of KWV, the Cathedral Cellar in Paarl, sharing some of the finest P’s in life (we’re talking #Pinotage#PetitVerdot and #Perold) with KWV The Mentors winemaker Izele van Blerk at the private launch of these award-winning wines, accompanied by some top-notch nosh from Chef Mynhardt Joubert. KWV are putting the Perold Tributum into The Mentors range which makes sense with Abraham Perold being the Pinotage Pioneer, and mentoring the entire wine industry for years!

Situated on the outskirts of Paarl, the vast KWV production cellars are, at 24 hectares, the largest single winery in the southern hemisphere, producing upwards of 15 million litres of wine each year. Yet hidden away beneath the sea of warehouse roofs and rows of massive fermentation tanks you’ll find a special corner of this award-winning cellar; a tiny space of small tanks and hand-labelled barrels. This is the home of The Mentors.

Since its launch in 2006, The Mentors range has established itself as one of the most sought-after premium brands in the South African wine landscape. Built around a philosophy of expressing terroir and pioneering new wines and wine-making techniques, it’s a portfolio that showcases the founding philosophy of KWV, and the rich history and depth of expertise at one of South Africa’s leading wine producers.

“The Mentors cellar was initially a space for us to push the boundaries of our winemaking knowledge,” explains The Mentors winemaker Izele van Blerk, who marks her 12th harvest with KWV this year.

KWV The Mentors Range:

PINOTAGE:

A three-step selection process ensured only the best quality fruit was chosen for fermentation. Selective picking in the vineyard, followed by both bunch and berry selection on the sorting table in the KWV The Mentors cellar, is strictly followed.

This wine reveals the true varietal characteristics of a modern-styled Pinotage: it’s dense in colour and bold in flavour. It has an abundance of cranberries and plums on the nose, with hints of perfume and cloves. The intense concentration on the palate shows juicy bright fruits and well-integrated oak. The silky-smooth tannins contribute to the wine’s round and seamless finish.

This Pinotage is the perfect accompaniment to a pork-belly roast with garlic and sage or a succulent beef roulade.

Cellaring potential:

This wine can be enjoyed now, but will also cellar well for five to eight years.

PETIT VERDOT:

This intense, ruby red wine is concentrated and leads on the nose with sweet spice followed by dark cherries, black olives and violets. The palate is rich and juicy with prominent fruit sweetness. The tannin structure is well integrated and delivers an intense, lasting finish.

Grapes were harvested optimally ripe and hand sorted in the cellar to ensure only the best fruit is used for fermentation. After two days of cold maceration the juice was inoculated with a selected yeast strain. Alcoholic fermentation lasted approximately six days and during this time was pumped over every five hours. Wine was racked off the skins, settled and transferred to barrels where malolactic fermentation took place for three weeks.

The wine was then racked and cleaned, and returned to barrels. After 12 months, the best wines were selected to mature for an additional six months. In total during the 18-month maturation period the wine was racked twice. This wine is truly about selecting the best-of-the-best.

PEROLD TRIBUTUM:

With this unique Cape Blend – a first in the history of KWV – the winemaking team wishes to pay tribute to Prof. Abraham Perold by honouring the legacy he left not only at KWV, but throughout the South African wine industry.

In the cellar:

Blending a multi-varietal wine can be challenging as it requires time, patience and skill. As a result, blending is widely considered an art in itself. By perfecting this art the winemaker is able to create a wine that both rewards and reflects the effort that went into its production.