Situated on Strand Road (R44), Stellenbosch, KLEINE ZALZE WINE ESTATE made history following its resounding success at the recent Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards. For the first time in the event’s 22-year history, its esteemed panel of judges awarded not one, but two trophies to the same wine – a 98 point wine produced by the esteemed Kleine Zalze wine estate.
In what organisers describe as “one of [the event’s] most competitive line-ups” ever, the Stellenbosch producer’s Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2015 received the Grand Prix Wine Trophy – the show’s top accolade – as well as the SA Airlink Trophy for Best Shiraz.
“The important message that continues to be delivered by every top wine competition and here again by Michelangelo is that Stellenbosch terroir produces exceptional fruit,” says Kleine Zalze head winemaker Alastair Rimmer. “This is true for varieties like Shiraz as much as for Cabernet Sauvignon, for which the region is already well known.”
“At the hands of the Kleine Zalze team, Shiraz has repeatedly shone. In the same competition last year, it was the Vineyard Selection Shiraz that stood out, taking Double Gold. The Family Reserve Shiraz 2015 also recently received gold medals at the 2018 International Wine & Spirit Competition and 2018 Mundus Vini Summer Tasting. “This latest award is a fantastic testament to the efforts of an extremely dynamic team of people involved in growing Kleine Zalze wines,” says Kleine Zalze owner and managing director Kobus Basson.
The team: Alistair Rimmer (cellarmaster), MD and owner Kobus Basson and RJ Botha.
n addition to the trophies at the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards this year, Kleine Zalze received Gold for its Brut MCC, Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon in a field comprising a record 2 255 wine-and-spirit entries this year.
Michelangelo is the largest competition of its kind on the continent and its wine assessments, among the most trusted. Significantly, most of the judging panel comprises international experts and this year included 30 specialists from 16 nationalities.
Kleine Zalze’s performance at the event is no coincidence, underlines the production of award winning wines over 22 years and consistent excellence across varieties and vintages.
Two of the most recent highlights for the estate were the gold medals that were won at the 2018 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and the 2018 Mundus Vini Summer Tasting.
In the latter, four gold medals were won for the Family Reserve Shiraz 2015 which was joined by Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2017 and Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.
Five gold medals were collected by the estate when judges at the 2018 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles – “the United Nations of Fine Wines” and a benchmark among international wine contests – singled out many of the same wines, but from other vintages. They were the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016, Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017 and Vineyard Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2017.
The cumulative achievements notched up at these two prominent and important European competitions was the best of all South African wineries.
“The awards are outstanding recognition of consistent focus on good quality across our varieties, especially because Europe is such a good market for us,” says Basson.
The estate where these wines are born lies in an area of Stellenbosch famous for producing South African icons. Kleine Zalze is also one of the oldest farms in the Cape winelands, producing wines of international appeal through a blend of heritage, passion and contemporary know-how.
Apart from its award-winning wines, the estate is famous for a variety of attractions, including the critically acclaimed Terroir gourmet restaurant of Chef Michael Broughton; breath-taking hiking and cycling routes; the world-renowned De Zalze golf course; and, a luxurious four-star Cape Dutch-style lodge.