KWV Mentors Orchestra 2013


Price: R270 – R300 (as of Sep 2016)
Winery: KWV
Varietal: Bordeaux Blend
Wine Region: Paarl
Country: South Africa


Quality: 16/20
Value: 2/5
Ponce Factor: Moderate to High
Occasion: Dinner for two (You don’t want to have to share this with too many people)

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Distinguished but pricy. Cellar until at least 2018.

Like the original Total Recall; ludicrously lengthy & gratuitously brawny.
Colour is a superbly intense, with vanguard aromas of classic Cab Sauvy pencil shavings & ripe cassis.
Palate is denser than the Governator, with heavy plums, more blackcurrant notes, and some positively gargantuan tannins. My bet would be that this guy will shine a little brighter after a few years in the cellar. Like a long-awaited cinematic remake with better colour and more convincing CGI

Aside from the fact that this is a KWV Mentors range wine, there are a few other chat-worthy elements to this wine. Not least of all is the fact that winemaker Johann Fourie has gone the whole hog and included FIVE of six permitted bordeaux varieties.

Bordeaux’s family five

A red Bordeaux-style blend refers to any wine made up of two or more of the five* Bordeaux grape varieties. If you’ve ever wandered down a supermarket wine aisle, even semi-conscious, then you will have seen most of these: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot & Malbec.

Trying to remember all these can be a bit of buzzkill, so I’ve crafted you a verbal family portrait instead:
Dad: Cabernet Sauvignon – a sage fellow (herbal notes present), full of stature (big tannins) with many years behind him (tannins and acidity give CS great aging potential)
Mom: Merlot – gentle natured (less intense than CS), with soft, feminine curves (tannins far more moderate than CS), and rosy cheeks (usually carrying soft red fruit on the palate)
Gym bunny older brother: Petit Verdot – super dense, super brawny (muscular tannins). Usually recognized in pure form thanks to its inky black-ish purple colour. Like a testorestone-fuelled adolescent, it usually comes with a fair share of intensity (dense ripe sweet black fruits).
Precocious teenage daughter: Cabernet Franc – Blossoms early, smells great, leaves its pleasant bouquet wherever it goes.
Baby: Malbec. Often consumed very young when bottled as a varietal wine (especially New world regions…French Malbecs can age longer). Like Petit Verdot, it adds intense colour to the mix.
*(technically Carmenere is No.6, but I ran out of family members. And if you can find a local Bordeaux blend with Carmenere in it, I’ll eat my hat…and wash it down with said carmenere-loving Bordeaux blend)

About the Author

Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.