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KWV Wines: Rediscover South Africa

On September 22, while the fall had joined us with great wind and a cold and rainy evening, I had the pleasure of being invited by Philippe Dandurand Wines at a product presentation of KWV wines. I admit I had a little doubt in the invitation, the wines of South Africa is for me wine products without necessarily being of high quality. But I had a revelation during this evening!

KWV wines - selection

Selection of KWV Wines tasted during the night
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

An early evening that pop with sparkling wine KWV

KWV wines - KWV Methode Cap Classique Brut

The KWV Methode Cap Classique Brut
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

It is hosted by their wonderful Cathedral Cellar KWV Wines sparkling that have propelled us to a joy, making us forget the bad weather that marched behind the doors of the Decca 77. This 2010 sparkling wine is 78% Chardonnay and 22% Pinot Noir, a big surprise. A 2010 product that can still grow old. It is a perfect wine for a drink, so fresh and surprising at the same time, especially for a sparkling which retails at 16,95$ at LCBO (Not at SAQ yet). I suggest you to make a detour in Ontario to go to the LCBO and make good provision for the holiday season because with apple notes and citrus, as well as its fresh and mineral palate, it has the look of a great champagne. The accompaniment was oysters from Prince Edward Island and salmon tartar in a cone. It was perfect.

Let the whites from KWV Wines dance in our mouth

We continue this evening with the whites from KWV Wines, the Chenin Blanc and the Sauvignon Blanc. Let’s start with the Chenin Blanc, a product offered at SAQ (not available at LCBO yet) at a price of $ 19.00.

KWV wines - KWV Cathedral Cellar Chenin Blanc

The KWV Cathedral Cellar Chenin Blanc
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

When drinked, this Chenin Blanc looked a lot like a Sauvignon Blanc, by cons, this is certainly due to the tasting of sparkling just before. One can also say that its aromas of oranges and lime green apples take us a bit to think in that direction. A very present fruit, but a very well-integrated oak flavor. One distinguishes the Chenin Blanc after a few sips with his final finesse. With guedille Shrimp form Gaspé and Chipotle mayonnaise from the Decca 77, it was a perfect match, a great product for an agreement with your seafood.

KWV wines - KWV The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc

The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

For the next product of KWV wines, as mentioned above, we go to The Mentors Sauvignon Blanc, made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Darling region, the stellar region for Sauvignon Blanc in South Africa. So we thought we had the right to a Sauvignon Blanc for the precedent Chenin Blanc, this wine reveals the true nature of Sauvignon with its very present lime, its sweet melon and watermelon. Here we find a much more creamy wine with a very intense fruit, one could say a more refined Kim Crawford. It also had good acidity that gives us a fresh taste in the mouth. A perfect wine with your roast chicken (not St-Hubert , as well as seafood or salads like beet, goat cheese and brioche we tasted during the evening.


The red wines from KWV, it’s serious!

KWV wines - KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz

The KWV Cathedral Cellar Shiraz
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

It is in the red that we begin to understand the quality of KWV Wines, the whites had given us a glimpse. We begin with the Shiraz, available in SAQ only. A blend of various vineyards in this KWV Shiraz (Darling 60%, 13% Paarl, 10% Walker Bay, Elgin 5%, 5% Western Cape, 5% and 2% Swartzland Wellington). We are in the Western Cape with this wine, a region that undergoes several climate variations, but the 2014 vintage should be a memorable experience. We note, as several shiraz, the  cherry, but also shows hints of cinnamon and violets. We feel also the very present sugary fruits and clove. On the palate, it is a tannic structure that reveals its presence in oak barrels for 14 to 16 months, 40% of production was aged in new barrels. A round and persistent finish is observed. Which fit perfectly with the beef tartare on grissini with caperons.

KWV wines - KWV Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon

The KWV Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

Regarding the second red of KWV wines, the Cathedral Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, available in SAQ is a classic Sauvignon, a blend of grape varieties (29% Swartzland, Coastal 25%, 25% Darling, 8% Walker Bay, Stellenboch 6%, 6% and 1% Western Cape Paarl). We are talking about a complex wine, where one finds a chocolate nose with dried herbs and blackberries with a strong emphasis on the cassis. A bit like their Shiraz, a tannic structure is very present, giving the wine a rich, focused and persistent generous final. The agreement with the piglet St-Canut’s Gaspor sandwich with BBQ sauce who makes it revealed all these flavors.


KWV wines - KWV The Mentors Orchestra

KWV The Mentors Orchestra
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

The next two KWV wines are not available at SAQ or LCBO in. Let’s begin with The Mentors Orchestra, which as its name suggests is a blend, like an orchestra. Cabernet Sauvignon (52%), Merlot (17%), Malbec (13%), Cabernet Franc (9%) and Petit Verdot (9%), this assembly a’apparente a Bordeaux wine by his side classic and complex. It includes plum, red cherry, a wood side. Chopped fresh notes of violets and something like opening a tin of tobacco. We still find a strong presence in both the well modulated tannins leaving a palate in this juice with a sweet fruit very present but nice with a very sweet aftertaste. Be appreciated with juicy and tasty red meat. The agreement with arrancini bolognese andpomodoro sauce had just fit together perfectly.

KWV wines - KWV Abraham Perold Insignis

KWV Abraham Perold Insignis
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

Save the best for last, the quintessence of the KWV Shiraz wines. The 2011 is a specimen of the coastal region of South Africa (Paarl 47%, 40% and 13% Swartzland Banghoek), that in the year the product was made, was warmer and dryer than normal getting the grapes smaller but more concentrated and rich. The result is a wine with a deep purple, with a concentration of spicy red fruits with notes of pepper and clove well mixed with a contrasting palette of dark chocolate, mocha and vanilla. On the palate, it is a tasty wine with tannin present but not too strong. This is a classic Shiraz very intense and very fluid with this final. It all ended in a perfect agreement veal polpette, tomato sauce and parmesan.

KWV wines- Izele Van Blerk & De Wet Hugo

Izele Van Blerk, winemaker, and De Wet Hugo, Commercial Manager North America and Fine Wines and Spirits.
Credit: RDPmag by Normand Boulanger

The quality of KWV wines is probably due in large part to the relentless work of the winemaker Izele Van Blerk, who leads masterfully vineyards of the KWV group and aims for the highest standards for  Cathedral Cellar wines, from grapes harvested in hand and carefully selected to reflect the excellence of the product.


Thanks to KWV Wines (Izele Van Blerk et De Wet Hugo) and Philippe Dandurand Wines (Pauline Blachon, Caroline Carrier, Carl Calderi) for this night of discovery.

Founder & Editor In Chief of Gentologie

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