Kleine Zalze Project Z current releases

By , 28 September 2023

The Kleine Zalze winemaking team does research and development under the banner of “Project Z” allowing them to explore everything from more adventurous picking dates to different fermentation vessels. “It wasn’t started as a commercial endeavour. Experimental wines are often made but typically get lost in the greater scheme of things – we decided that only by bottling could the project be fulfilled,” says head winemaker RJ Botha. Tasting notes and ratings for the latest releases as follows:

Chenin Blanc 2021
Price: R460
Grapes from two Firgrove vineyards planted in the 1970s. Grapes given 12 hours of skin contact before fermentation and maturation lasting nine months in two 500-litre amphorae. Floral perfume, hay, citrus, peach and earth on the nose. Great fruit depth, well integrated acidity and some light grip to the finish. Pleasantly thick-textured but also no shortage of verve. Alc: 13%. Total production: 1 023 bottles.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

Chenin Blanc Skin Contact 2021
Price: R460
Grapes as above. Fermented on the skins over a period of 10 days in amphorae before maturation lastin nine . Pronounced reductive pong along with notes of naartjie, orange, dried flowers and spice on the nose. Dense fruit, tangy acidity and plenty of phenolic grip, the finish intensely savoury. Not exactly easy drinking but works well with food. Alc: 12%. Total production: 702 bottles.

CE’s rating: 89/100.

Riesling 2021
Price: R280
W.O. Elgin. Fermented and matured for The nose shows a little flinty reduction before lime, green apple plus hints of flowers, herbs and petrol. The palate has great clarity and focus – concentrated fruit, driving acidity and a super-dry finish. Alc: 12.5%. Total production: 634 bottles.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

Cinsault 2021
Price: R420

Rated 93 in March this year – see here.

Syrah 2021
Price: R590

Rated 94 and placed Top 10 in this year’s Prescient Shiraz Report – see here.

Check out our South African wine ratings database.


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