Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Bush Vines Chenin Blanc 2011

September 21, 2011
by Christian
in What I Drank Last Night
with 2 Comments

Goes down like a homesick mole.

Vintage after vintage, this wine over-delivers in terms of quality relative to price. The 2011 currently has a pronounced primary character with plenty of guava on nose and palate but don’t be fooled into thinking this is an insubstantial wine – there’s a concentrated fruit offset by really crisp acidity.

From old bush vines in the Helderberg area of Stellenbosch, grapes were picked in two batches, one at 22° Balling for freshness and one at 23° Balling for richness (the final wine containing 15% botrytis). After fermentation, it was left on the lees for three months. It should gain complexity over the next few years but I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure as it’s almost impossible to resist now…

Score: 16/20; price ex-cellar: R35 a bottle.


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  1. eliasSeptember 21, 2011 at 9:28 amReply

    Can this wine be compared against some big dogs whose prices are R200+?

    • ChristianSeptember 21, 2011 at 10:58 amReplyAuthor

      Hi Elias, The short answer is: yes, it most definitely can as it possesses the purity of fruit and intensity of flavour that allows it to be seen as as a fine wine. The long answer: it’s unwooded and fresh in style whereas many of the more expensive examples are wooded, rich and full. Does this make it inherently inferior? I hope not – that would be favouring one end of the stylistic spectrum unnecessarily.

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