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Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013

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U can't touch this.
U can’t touch this.

Bar a 5 Star-rating in Platter’s, the Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 from Kleine Zalze in Stellenbosch has picked up just about every accolade possible for a wine: it recently won grand gold as well as being declared best white wine overall at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles while its achievements last year included gold at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, a place among the winners in the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge and the Collotype Grand Prix Trophy at the Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards.

Grapes are sourced from three sites in Stellenbosch, each on a different soil. In the cellar, fermentation is begun in tank but completed in 400-litre barrels, 30% new, 30% second-fill and 40% third-fill, maturation lasting 12 months. Technical analysis as follows: Alc 13.91%, RS 1.6g/l, TA 6/7g/l, and pH 3.27.

I clearly like it as I was on both the Trophy Wine Show and Chenin Blanc Challenge panels that saw fit to reward it. Looking at it again over the week-end, my reflection was that it’s just about bullet-proof. A top-note of honeysuckle before citrus and peach plus a little spice and only the very vaguest hint of leesiness. The palate meanwhile shows excellent fruit concentration, bright acidity and well integrated oak –perfectly balanced and a wine of depth rather than weight. Price: R148 a bottle.

Score: 93/100.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Christian
    Interesting that you still rate the Alheit Chenins higher? Is this personal taste or is the rest of the world simply not with it??
    Any idea where one would be able to buy some of this wine?

    • Hi, Sandy. Apologies for butting in. :-) Even if the Alheits were to develop an interest in entering their wines into competitions, they would probably not have enough stock of the Radio Lazarus and Magnetic North Mountain Makstok to do so.

      Also, to illustrate a point, keep in mind that even though Kanonkop Paul Sauer is a stunning wine and it won the Trophy for the Best Blended Red Wine at the International Wine and Spirit Competition more than once, it doesn’t mean that it’s ultimately better than, say, Château Lafite Rothschild, who couldn’t possibly gain anything by ever entering a competition.

  2. It is also worth noting the differences in volumes and pricing between what the Alheits and Kleine Zalze are doing – 1 400 bottles of Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2014 at R490 vs 9 333 bottles of Family Reserve at R148. The Mountain Makstok sends shivers down my spine like the Kleine Zalze doesn’t quite manage but really all these old vine Chenins are bloody brilliant wines at ridiculously low prices by world standards. Cash in while you can…

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