South Africa, Stellenbosch, 13 May 2015; NEWS is out from the annual Concours Mondial de Bruxelles awards that South Africa’s blue chip Kleine Zalze has won the revered overall Best White Wine of the show – the competition also gives special prizes to wines scoring highest in their category. This was awarded to the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013, in addition to a coveted Grand Gold Medal.
Not to be outdone by its white wines, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles also awarded a Grand Gold Medal to the Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and a Gold Medal to the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.
Over 8 000 wines from 41 countries competed in Brussels before a hand-picked selection of the world’s leading sommeliers, wine buyers, importers, journalists and wine writers. Concours Mondial provides consumers with a reliable buying cue; a total of 2 330 medals were awarded this year with less than 1% of the 8 060 competing wines awarded a Grand Gold Medal. This gives context to the huge achievement by Kleine Zalze.
Owner and managing director of Kleine Zalze, Kobus Basson, emphasises consistency as being the winning formula: ‘our Chenin Blanc has continued to be a strong core of the Kleine Zalze brand. We are thrilled to see that South African Chenin Blanc is being recognised and celebrated in a highly respected and traditional world forum among top white wines. It is a great acknowledgement for “Proudly South African” Chenin!’
The Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Chenin Blanc grapes are sourced from highly prized areas in Stellenbosch that show wonderful site expression. The Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2013 was crafted from different soils (Granite, Oakleaf and Duplex). Old bush vine (40 years old and more) vineyards and three separate wards in Stellenbosch each contributed to the best quality level of fruit and palate structure.
Winemaker RJ Botha noted, ‘A cool microclimate around the grapes meant no direct sun or botrytis. The whole idea and story behind the wine was to create something that was not over-oaked or full of botrytis sweetness. The aim was to produce a wine of pure varietal fruit enhanced with subtle oaking; the result is a silky texture with a structure that retains elegance. The bush vines are vital, not just due to their age, but because each bunch has its own microclimate and as a result, there is significant diversity of flavours in the final wine.’
Last year, the same wine won a gold medal at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, a Veritas gold medal and was a winner in the Standard Bank Top Ten Chenin Blanc Challenge. This challenge awarded a prize consisting of R20,000 earmarked for social responsibility. Kleine Zalze gave the money to their Workers’ Committee who distributed the funds to community projects including crèches and libraries in need.