Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017, Kleine Zalze
South Africa / Stellenbosch
Andy's Tasting Notes
This is special and extremely well priced for its undoubted quality. A classic example where, if you didn’t know, you probably wouldn’t guess there was oak used in its production. Everything is harmoniously dovetailed to produce a seamless and beautifully integrated white wine.
Production notes …
Tasting notes – Aromas of citrus, quince, green melon and savoury notes on the nose with layers of pear and honeysuckle on the palate. Elegant fruit and integrated French oak flavours give this wine a silky mouthfeel and a long, fresh, mineral finish. Enjoy now or mature up to 15 years at optimum storage conditions.
Vineyards – The Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2017 was crafted from three different wards and soils (Decomposed Granite, Oakleaf and Duplex) in Stellenbosch, each contributing to the complexity of this wine. These vineyards are all over 40 years old and unirrigated bush vines. The canopy of the bush vines were suckered and tipped to ensure a cool micro climate around the grapes with no direct sun and without botrytis. The 2017 vintage was in the middle of a very long drought, but these old vineyards with its well established roots looked better than ever.
Vintage – Much like the 2016 vintage, 2017 was characterised by a dry winter and a dry growing season. Kleine Zalze had however planned for this and managed their vineyards carefully to ensure that they didn’t experience any extreme water stress. They experienced a fairly persistent wind during the latter flowering period and the yields were lower than normal. The harvest started very early on the 11th of January and was expected to be a challenging vintage (similar to 2016). In spite of this, very moderate midsummer temperatures and cooler than normal night temperatures provided excellent ripening conditions.
Production – The grapes were picked separately between 22 and 24° balling, reductively crushed and the juice was given 12 -18 hours skin contact prior to settling. After only 1 day settling, they racked the cloudy juice (120ntu) to tank, where it got inoculated with selected wine yeast strain. The juice was then gravity fed into 400l French oak barrels for fermentation, using only 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels to protect the delicate Chenin Blanc fruit. The wine spent an extra 8 months in barrel before we blended the components. There was no fining or filtration before bottling.
Price per bottle £19.40
Kleine Zalze is a family owned winery situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Winemaking has taken place there on a small scale since 1695 but it was in 1996, when Kobus Basson and his family purchased the property, that the modern Kleine Zalze was born. In 1996 the estate’s soils were scientifically mapped, evaluated and replanted according to their specific terroir characteristics and potential. Continuous investment over more than 20 years has seen the winery evolve into one of the most awarded in Stellenbosch.
Kleine Zalze complies with the internationally recognised Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) scheme. The scheme certifies that their grapes and wine are produced according to environmentally sustainable production methods. Compliance with the IPW guidelines assures the buyer and consumer that the production process is environmentally sustainable and that the minimum food safety requirements have been met.
Many of Kleine Zalze’s vineyards are now Fairtrade certified and the company also actively supports local charities and organisations that are involved in community empowerment.
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