Mentors Cabernet Franc

The Mentors Cabernet Franc Crowned Best in Show at Decanter World Wine Awards

The exceptional quality of KWVs premier The Mentors range of wines was reaffirmed this week with The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2019 being named “Best in Show”, the accolade attributed to  the 50 best wines at the esteemed Decanter World Wine Awards in London.

The competition is among the leading events of its kind, respected for the international calibre of its experts that include Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, who participate, and its rigorous judging process. As such, it is also one of the most hotly contested events for the world’s premier wine brands.

The title of Best in Show that was awarded to The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2019 is the ultimate accolade at Decanter and bestowed on a wine that stood out from the panels’ Platinum winners.

Mentors Cabernet Franc

“Since its launch in 2006, The Mentors range has established itself as one of the most sought-after premium South African brands,” says winemaker Izele van Blerk. “This recognition by Decanter underscores that journey and our belief in the quality that extends to every The Mentors wine.”

The Mentors Cabernet Franc is only made in years when vintage conditions make an exceptional wine possible. Since its launch in 2010, this has occurred six times.

The 2019 vintage was produced from a vineyard in the Helderberg ward of Stellenbosch – an outstanding region to grow Cabernet Franc in South Africa, according to Izele.

“The vineyard has a view of the ocean, with cooler day and night temperatures. This ensures longer ripening and more time on the vine.”

The block itself is 18 years old and planted in soils of ferricrete, or koffie klip.

“While Cabernet franc is mainly used in blends to provide highlights of perfume, blossoms and spice, the 2019, like the 2018, showed an extraordinary level of palate complexity that warranted its selection as a stand-alone variety for the Mentors label,” says Izele.

As usual, bringing in the fruit required the utmost care to preserve as much of the vineyard expression as possible. Grapes for the Cabernet Franc 2019 were harvested in two pickings, at optimal ripeness, that allowed different characters to shine. In the cellar, only the best fruit was selected for vinification. Further selection took place as winemaking ensued. At its conclusion, the final wine spent 18 months in 70% new French oak barrels.

Mentors Cabernet Franc

Izele’s tasting notes of the wine speak of aromas of spice, pencil shavings, fynbos and dark cherries emanating from the glass. The palate is complex and layered, showing bold structure and complexity, powdery tannins and a silky soft finish.

“This wine is elegant with superb balance and poise,” says Izele. “It made a worthy addition to The Mentors legacy, a view now also supported by the panel at Decanter.”

The Mentors Cabernet Franc 2019 is available via the KWV Emporium in Paarl and online at

Experience The Mentors through tours and tastings at the KWV Emporium too. For more information, contact the Emporium on 021 807 3007/8 or