Cab Franc Challenge? What on earth is that… (sounds much better when said in your best Prince Charles voice). Apparently the inaugural challenge was indeed in 2016. Thirty Two wines were entered and six were awarded a winners badge. It took place in South Africa with Judging Panel Chairperson declaring “It was a privilege to taste the 32 wines entered. They are made with care and are not formulaic in any way. Partly I believe this is due to it being a niche varietal, where passion for the grape drives the winemaker to produce a wine of outstanding quality. No-one is going to get rich out of Cab Franc, so you have to love it to make it and it is this respect for the varietal which came through in the entries.”
There’s a whole host of flavours to get those taste buds surging into overdrive, including, according to the rear label fynbos and pencil shavings but its the spicy edge and firm structure that I like.
“The KWV Mentors range allows our team to express winemaking excellence and the pure expression of some very exceptional vineyards. Our goal is to pay total respect to terroir. To provide the necessary diversity, we source fruit from throughout the Western Cape, focusing on vineyards which produce outstanding quality and reflect regionality.”
KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot
The Decanter World Wine Awards are radically different to the Cab Franc Challenge. Here 16,000 wines competed in 2016 with 378 being awarded Gold Medals. KWV came away with an impressive 22 different awards in 2016, with others in the Mentors range appearing too. They described the PV as
“Deep, brooding and intense with lovely layers of perfumed violet and penetrating rich black fruit aromas. The palate is densely complex, filled with vibrant, lush mulberry and blackberry, classy, velvety smooth tannins, laced with soft, subtle spice and a perfumed, elegant finish.”
The Petit Verdot is equally as delicious as the Cabernet Franc. I’d be tempted to stick a few of both in the wine rack for a few years. You know… just to see what happens…
KWV The Mentors Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are available from Ocado, SH Jones, Slurp.com for £14.95. At the time of writing Ocado has them on offer at £2 off a bottle.