Distinguishing the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2012 for the platinum title, the expert panel of mostly international judges hailed it as a wine of "exceptional performance and outstanding quality" . Joining it on the winner's podium with a sought-after Gran D'Or medal was the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier 2011.
Kleine Zalze collected a further three Gold medals and two Silver medals - an achievement that echoes the farm's results at the recent International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London. At this prestigious event, it won Gold for the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, seven Silver Medals and one Bronze.
"This is a very satisfying result and bears testimony to the meticulous work of everyone involved, particularly in the vineyards and cellar," says Kleine Zalze Managing Director Kobus Basson. "The achievements of the entire range and different cultivars that did well at Michelangelo highlight the consistency that we have pursued in all our viticultural and winemaking processes" .
"Kleine Zalze is about more than just one variety and to have won medals across the entire range proves the skill of our winemaking team and the quality of the grapes produced by our farmers."
Kleine Zalze's winning wines included both labels suited to ageing and labels made to be consumed in their youth. A notable achievement was the selection of Kleine Zalze's larger volume blends among the Gold medallists.
"Our viticultural and winemaking focus is to take the best of each component and create a well-rounded, balanced and structurally sound wine that has good length on the palate," says Kleine Zalze Cellarmaster Johan Joubert. "We continuously work at perfecting the art of blending."
"The Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2012 comprises a combination of grapes from different farms, prepared to the desired style, and then blended. The Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier 2011 was originally aimed at the Swedish market and made as a Rhone blend that is fuller, with gentle complexity on the mid-palate and totally in balance. Since then, South Africans have come to love it too," he says.
"Now, the winning wines represent even greater value to consumers considering that some of them are priced at just R39-00 per bottle."
Kleine Zalze's Michelangelo Gold Medal winners were:
Michelangelo Silver medals went to:
- Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Chenin Blanc Bush Vines 2013
- Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Shiraz 2009
- Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007
- Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Chardonnay 2013
- Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011
In addition, Kleine Zalze was the producer behind another Michelangelo Gold Medal winner - Bayede 7 Icon Wine Chenin Blanc 2012, which was selected as part of Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's Icon wine range and entered in the competition.
The Michelangelo International Wine Awards were established in 1997 to give local wines the opportunity to be evaluated by international judges. As a result, the contest has become a leading indicator of quality wines. This year saw the inauguration of its Platinum Awards, which aim to showcase superior wines that achieve scores of 98 and higher.