Kleine Zalze Lunch at French Toast

April 28th, 2011 by karen

Kleine Zalze - Stellenbosch Mountain & Vineyards

Having been an ambassador on the Kleine Zalze “For the Love of Wine” team last year, taking several guests on various wine tours to the estate, and indulging in a couple of special meals at Terroir, I have become quite familiar, and in fact quite captivated, by the Kleine Zalze wines.  With 3 different ranges: Cellar Selection, Vineyard Selection and Family Reserve they have a range of styles of wine that appeal to all palate’s and all pockets!

I was thus very excited to receive an invite to a lunch at French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar from Manley Communications (their PR company).  The lunch was hosted by the Managing Director and Co-Owner,  Kobus Basson, along with the incredibly competent Johan Joubert, their Cellar Master

Kobus Basson and Johan Joubert

Johan advised us that the focus of the lunch was going to be on some of their new vintages from the Family Reserve and Vineyard Selection ranges.  He comments “The Cellar Selection range is an easy choice – easy drinking and affordable, but a lot of expense is going into making our premium ranges in the cellar”.  We started with Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (R120 ex-cellar door) on arrival paired with a Goats Cheese and Stuffed Tomato Tart.  Angela Lloyd beat us all to the mark with her description “This pairing is a no-brainer really isn’t it!”  Johan mentions how important age-ability of Sauvignon Blanc is with their 2005 having recently won a Veritas Gold award, and I couldn’t agree more! A combination of the grapes being sourced from various regions (Stellenbosch, Darling, Durbanville, West Coast and Stanford) and the 10 months the wine spent on the lees, results in a fair amount of complexity and body to this wine with a fantastic balance of minerality and tropical fruit with green pea, green fig and herbacious undertones

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Chenin Blanc seems to be a fairly rife topic of wine conversations at the moment and the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc (R62 ex-cellar door)  has consistently been one of my favourites! Apparently I am not the only one as Johan says this bushvine wine, with very low production of 2 to 6 tons per hectare, is very popular indeed.  The warmth of the area shows through in this wine displaying some waxy / honey type notes but still maintaining the peachy, tropical flavour, along with some subtle botrytis notes.  There is a dry richness and elegant acid structure on the palate with an incredible length on the finish

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2010

The Chenin Blanc along with the Vineyard Selection Chardonnay were appropriately paired with Sauteed Calamari with chili, oregano & lemon, and Sauteed Prawns with paprika and lemon.  The Chardonnay, I have to say, literally blew my socks off (or would have done so if it was not such a warm day and I was actually wearing any:) ) This is a wine Johan says he pays the most attention to – and boy is he receiving just rewards! This is made from Stellenbosch fruit with a few selected blocks from Robertson combining to offer limey minerality and a freshness right through to the finish.  There was no malolactic fermentation which also preserves the freshness of the wine with a total of 7 months barrel aging on the lees.  Rich, rounded, beautiful creamy mouthfeel gaining in complexity with every sip.  At R64 (ex-cellar door) I am stumped by this beauty!

Kleine Zalze - Vineyard Selection 2010 Chardonnay

Moving onto the reds we tasted the Vineyard Selection ’09 (R95 ex-cellar door) versus the Family Reserve ’07 (R205 ex-cellar door) Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Family Reserve is a fairly new addition to their stable with the first vintage in ’02 and was by far my favourite red of the day!  Having spent 20 months in 100% new oak it still has time on its side showing superb age-ability.  There is much typicity from this wine with cassis and cedar aromas following through to the palate with the addition of chocolate and liquorice but it remains a stand out wine having been a Trophy Wine Show winner as well as the Tri Nations winner.  The length on the finish was well matched to the Beef Short Rib with bordelaise jus and aubergine fries

One cannot ever “love them all” and the SMV impressed me least from their line up but I heard many ooh’s and aah’s from the other end of the table so there is no doubt a huge market for this wine too.  We finished with a comparison between the Vineyard Selection ’09 (R90 ex-cellar door) versus the Family Reserve ’07 (R205 ex-cellar door) Shiraz.  I found the Family Reserve had a beautiful concentration of ripe, dark plum and spices supported by well-integrated oak tannins and offered a far richer and denser mouth feel than the Vineyard Selection

A huge thank you to Kobus and Johan for the wines and the insight into your wines, Lise for extending the invite and French Toast for the fantastic tapas lunch

PLEASE NOTE: All images courtesy of Manley Communication

Kleine Zalze Wines


Telephone: +27 (21) 880-0717
Physical address:
Strand Road (R44)
Stellenbosch, 7600

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