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Kleine Zalze newsletter July 2018

9 July 2018  -  Kleine Zalze

2018 started on a high with the annual Stellenbosch Wine Festival Harvest Parade on the 27th of January. The Harvest Parade celebrates the beginning of the grape harvesting season.

A vibrant flotilla of tractors and trucks carrying local bands and winery employees from local wine estates makes its way through the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch to the Town Hall, where the blessing of the harvest ceremony takes place. Seventy Kleine Zalze employees participated in this wonderful event again and was proud to be named the “Team with most Gees” on the day.

Amphora “Soldiers”

We are proud to announce that our amphora soldiers have increased from 2 to 8 pots. These high quality handmade terracotta pots are manufactured by Manetti Gusmano & Figli in Firenze, Italy. The Manetti family has been known since 1968 for the production of great wines in the Chianti region on the Fontodi Estate. Their long-standing experience, combined with their passion for the world of wine, has allowed them to advocate this wine making project aiming at achieving outstanding quality yet always staying faithful to tradition.

What makes the Amphoras special, is the uniqueness of the clay; the abundant presence of Galestro in the terroir of Chianti Classico, gives special features to the Amphoras. Among the natural components of which terracotta is made, the salts and the calcium carbonates confer the right microporosity, enabling the wine to breathe correctly. All these features, combined with the antioxidant and antibacterial action and the high thermal insulation capacity make the terracotta Amphora an ideal tool for the production of great natural wines.

You might see a “special release” of these wines in the near future.

Harvest 2018 - Straight from the Cellar

Kleine Zalze Cellar Master, Alastair Rimmer provided us with his overview of the 2018 harvest.

“In the lead up to harvest the talk was all to do about the drought and how this might affect the harvest. For us we have been managing our vineyards, for the last number of years, in a manner to be able to cope with low water availability and so we were not too negatively impacted by the drought. There were however some of our external growers that suffered losses in excess of 40% of their crop.

In total we harvested about 15-20% less than we expected. Harvest started on the 15th of January this year and as usual it was with Chardonnay for our Methodé Cap Classique. With the dry and warm conditions it wasn’t long before we were into full swing and the grapes were coming in thick and fast. This being the 3rd dry season in a row we found ourselves harvesting grapes a little earlier than normal to ensure that we maintained the natural freshness in the wines.

In the early season our old, dry-land, bush vine Chenin faired very well and we think we have some very exciting wines in the cellar. We were then fortunate for the weather to play its part and from the second week in March we had very moderate weather with nice cool evenings. This was important, especially for our Cabernets, as it allowed some early uneven ripening to be resolved and by the time we harvested we were very happy with the fruit that we received.

The last grapes were processed on the 7th of April and we are pleased with the result from what was quite a challenging season”.

UK success sees Kleine Zalze crowned Best New World Producer

Kleine Zalze has again been named Best New World Producer of the Year in the UK, the trend-setting market for global wine producers. Kleine Zalze was singled out at the annual UK Sommelier Wine Awards and received seven medals in addition to its status as overall champion.

The achievement follows its naming earlier this year as top South African wine brand in the on-premise trade in the UK alongside brands like Laurent Perrier, Taittinger, Baron Philippe De Rothschild and Dom Perignon.

The Sommelier Wine Awards (SWA) is the UK's only competition to be aimed solely at the on-trade. Judged by a panel of top leading sommeliers and on-trade drinks buyers, the competition rewards the best wines available to restaurants, bars and hotels in the UK and beyond.

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles

The 25th Concours Mondial was held from May 10 to 14, 2018 in Beijing, China. Over 9,180 wines from 48 producer countries competed for a distinction. Some 330 judges from 50+ countries blind-tasted and scored the wines. Kleine Zalze received a whopping 9 medals of which 5 were gold for the Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016, Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Vineyards Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2017.

Kleine Zalze also excelled in a number of other international competitions by reeling in a total of 9 gold medals at the International Wine Challenge 2018, Sommelier Wine Awards 2018, Concours International Des Cabernets 2018, Concours Mondial du Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Chardonnay Du Monde 2018 and Mundus Vini International Wine Awards Spring Tasting.

Domestic awards

At the same time on South African shores, Kleine Zalze’s achievements saw its Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc enter the 2018 Top Wine SA Hall of Fame, a list of the top 20 South African wines that have maintained outstanding track records of gold medals or more, for a minimum of 10 years.

The classification considers producer ratings achieved at amongst others the biggest and most reputable competitions including the Decanter World Wine Awards (UK), the International Wine Challenge (UK) and IWSC (UK), Platter's SA Wine Guide, the Six Nations Challenge (AU), the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show (SA), the Veritas Awards (SA) and the Michelangelo awards (SA).

The compiler - Top Wine SA, edited by Mike Froud - also identifies the ten best wines by category, which saw Kleine Zalze singled out in the Top 10 Chenin Blanc 2018 (Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc); Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc); Top 10 Shiraz 2018 (Kleine Zalze Family Reserve); and, Top 20 Cellar 2018 for consistently highly-rated wines.

Top Wine SA

Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2018

The seventh annual Cabernet Sauvignon Report sponsored by multinational financial services company Prescient was revealed earlier this year.

89 entries were received from 74 producers and these were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by the three-person panel, scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale. Both Kleine Zalze’s Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (93 points) and Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (92 points) were top performers. A huge congratulations to our viticulture and winemaking teams as this is a remarkable achievement.