Kleine Zalze Barrel Fermented Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

JUST THE FACTS

Price: R120 (as of Sep 2016)
Winery: Kleine Zalze
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Region: Stellenbosch
Country: South Africa

JONO SAYS

Quality: 16/20
Value: 3/5
Ponce Factor: Moderate
Occasion: Friday Dinner

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Like an emotional weightlifter – solid legs, followed by thick tears that run for days.
Colour is a medium intensity deep ruby hue, with medium+ viscosity.
Lovely open nose of pencil shavings, eucalyptus, and a hint of sweet plum.
On the palate, cassis and black cherries, with moderate acidity and pleasantly grippy tannins. I’m sure this will soften further with time, but I wouldn’t wait past 2018.

So you are struggling to maintain dinner guest interest with your passionate monologues on US politics? Why not try something a little closer to home; like how the combination of winemaker Kobus Basson and Kleine Zalze are a powerhouse combination to watch. Just have a gander at the little pretties they have produced over the last few years:
– a Platter 5-Star rating for their 2012 Barrel-Fermented Cabernet Sauvignon (R120.00),
– Chardonnay-du-Monde Top10 spot for their Vineyard Selection Wooded Chardonnay (R80.00),
– a Concours Mondiale Bruxelles Gold Medal for their 2015 Unwooded Chardonnay (R47.00)
– TWO Top10 spots in the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc competition (their Vineyard Select Chenin retails for about R80.00)

The list actually goes on for a lot longer, but what I wanted to focus on was the prices. If you look at the wines listed, none of them go over R120 per bottle, which is worth noting (as many of our 5-Star Platter wines and Chardonnay-du-Monde winners retail for between R250 and R450.00).

While it is kinda boring to faun like a schoolgirl at a Bieber concert, I do want to laud Kleine Zalze for their ability, not only to produce consistently great wines across a wide range of red and white varieties, but to deliver value to the customer, despite opportunities to sell wines for triple the price in foreign markets.

To be fair, that though was only marginally more than US politics. I apologise for over promising and under-performing.

To try and make up for that, and hopefully this will salvage your reputation as a conversationalist, I will leave you with one last Cab Sauv Moderately Fun Fact.

While Cabernet Sauvignon feels like a Big Daddy of a wine that will knock the socks of an unsuspecting winedrinker, it is actually the fortuitous little baby lovechild of a passionate night in the vineyards between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Which I guess makes it all the more suprising to see how the wee lad turned out. When you have light, dry, minimalist mother, and a rather effeminate and perfumey dad, the apple could hardly have fallen further from the tree.

Cheers!

About the Author

Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.