K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard
Experience 4.0 Stellenbosch Wine 4.0

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Monday 15 May 2017

Experience: 4/5
Wines: 4/5

KWV is more famed for brandy than wine production but it was 6 wines, rather than the customary 4, that were showcased at the Vineyard Hotel tonight. The tasting was held on the back lawn, instead of indoors as for the Italian wines last week, and much better for it with the added space for guests. For those who don’t know, KVW was formed in 1918 – interestingly, the same year that Nelson Mandela was born – as a co-operative (the ‘Ko-operatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid-Afrika Beperk’, Afrikaans for ‘Co-operative Winegrowers’ Association’, colloquially known as KWV) to regulate and stabilise the industry. Some 90 years later and the company is one of the 5 largest wine, brandy and spirit producers in South Africa. Based in Paarl, more than 100 products are sold in over 100 countries, including its KWV brandies and international brands such as Roodeberg, Cathedral Cellar, Laboorie and KWV Lifestyle.

James, from KVW, brought wines from the flagship The Mentors range for tasting: 2 whites and 4 reds. Most grapes are sourced from the Darling area, one that I have yet to explore, and so I was excited to sample. The Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc were pale yellow straw in colour with a distinct green tinge, much more so than the white wines I have tasted from the Hermanus and Elgin regions recently. The Sauvignon Blanc was fresh and lively, with big forward herbaceous notes, which could easily have been a 2016 rather than 2011 vintage. The Chenin Blanc was the weakest wine of the evening for me. It was light on the nose and palate and with insufficient complexity for my taste.

The red wines were much more preferred and interesting than the whites. The Pinotage, like the Chenin Blanc, was not one of the best I have tasted. It was a pleasant fruity and spicy plum on the nose, dry on the palate, but didn’t make me want to drink more. By comparison, it was a treat to taste the Petit Verdot. This rare cultivar is commonly used as a minor component in Bordeaux blends but rarely made into a single variety wine, due to its powerful flavours and heavy tannins. It is grown in under 1% of total vineyard area in South Africa. I had tasted only once before previously, at Anura vineyards. The Petit Verdot was purple red in colour and easily recognisable as a Bordeaux grape on the nose – dark mulberry and earthy, oak aromas predominated – that fed though to lingering flavours on the palate.

The Orchestra and Canvas, classic Cabernet Sauvignon-led Bordeaux and Shiraz-led Rhone blends, respectively, were as layered and complex as expected. It was good to taste blends of older vintages than most sold or included for tasting. The ageing showed in more rounded tannins and a better balance between fruitiness and acidity. Neither wine was too aggressive on the palate and I preferred the older Canvas, made up of no fewer than 7 cultivars. Earthy, leather, dry cedar and oaky aromas mingled with smoky, spicy dark plum fruits on the nose for a truly enjoyable wine.

It was a treat to taste such an interesting and broad range of wines from KWV. I am sure it will not be long until I visit the company in Paarl, for brandy tasting too …..

Wines tasted:                                           


2011 The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc – R180
2013 The Mentors Chenin Blanc – R180


2014 The Mentors Pinotage – R250
2011 The Mentors Petit Verdot – R250
2010 The Mentors Orchestra (47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec) – R250
2008 The Mentors Canvas (71% Shiraz, 15% Grenache, 5% Carignan, 4% Mouvèdre, 2% Tempranillo, 2% Cinsault, 1% Viognier) – R250

You Might Also Like

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Au Revoir France!

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Iconic Steenberg

Relaxing Rosendal

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

Trading Wines in the City Bowl


Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Boutique de Brendel

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Red Chair in the Morning

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Simple Spier

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

More Still at Tanagra

More than Just a Destination

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Beyond Expectation

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

Colmant Sparkled

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Mutual Attraction

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?


Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Wines to Love on Love Street

Being Creative at Flagstone

Quality with Style in the Vineyard


Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Wines Merely to Lust After

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Laibach Shows its Spots

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

All Green at Villiera

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Dornier Disappoints

Altitudes with Wine!

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

On the Left, but then on the Right …

It’s High Time Again

Morgenhof in the Morning

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Classic(al) to Barrique – De Morgenzon Hits all the Right Notes

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Late at Lateganskop

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

No Blues at Hillcrest

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Individual Quality at Jordan

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Great Value in the Swartland

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Satisfaction in Getting My Ducks (and Wines) in a Row

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

No Black Marks at Raka

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!


  1. In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] region in France. I had tasted as a minor component in blends made by Ataraxia Wines (25%) and KVW (2%). The grape matches well with Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah and is blended in […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *