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.