Welcome to the Western Cape Wineries - a kiwi's opinion blog

I originally set up this blog to help foreigners have an enjoyable experience when visiting the western cape wineries in South Africa.

I realised that it is very difficult for a tourist to choose where to go and which wineries to visit, when you have 600+ wine producers to choose from.

When I first moved to SA December 2010, my palate struggled to adjust to SA wine, b
ut after living here for a while and after visiting over 100+ wine estates, I have found many wines which I really like and can highly recommend.

Admittingly, when you come from another country it is hard not to compare the wine in SA to what you are used to back home. However, once you realise they are not the same (they have their own characteristics due to the different soil, climate etc) and appreciate their wines for being SA wines, it will improve your opinion and experience of the wines immediately.

If you are staying in SA for a while, don't dispair, your palate will change, and you will soon find yourself liking SA wine over your home countries wine!!

I hope my blog will help wine lovers have an enjoyable wine experience while in SA.

Please note: I am not a wine connoisseur. The comments I write about the wine is mostly for my own benefit of having them on record.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Kleine Zalze - Wine Club

Today our valley wine club got together for a tasting at Kleine Zalze.  They have a lovely setting/location in Stellenbosch. There are beautiful views as you walk to the tasting room and restaurant. They have indoor and outdoor seating to suit all weather conditions.

The tasting room manager and Wayne ran the tasting. It was very informative, interesting and you can see that the team at Kleine Zalze are really passionate about wine and their job. It was a great wine tasting.

We started with the Sauvignon Blanc Family Reserve 2011 at R130 a bottle. It has a strong aroma and flavour. It is very sharp with a nice strong lingering finish. Tones of lime and tropical fruits. It was very fresh.

The Gamay Noir Rose 2012 at R45 a bottle was light on the palate and has an unripe strawberry taste. It is fresh, off dry and has a lingering finish. This wine had 12 hours skin contact.

Chenin Blanc Bush Vine 2013 (R39 a bottle) has a beautiful nose - that of granny smith apples and tropical fruits. This wine was also fresh, with citrus, lime and lemon on the palate. It was a little sour.

Chenin Blanc Barrel Fermnted 2012 (R70 a bottle) spent 7 months in 20% new oak barrels and 80% second and third fill. It smelled creamy on the nose with hints of butterscotch. On the palate I tasted dried apricots. I didn't like this wine.

Cabernet Merlot 2010 is R55 a bottle. It was beautiful on the nose with hints of dark berries - specifically blackcurrent. It had an intense and spicy taste. It was smooth and easy drinking. I liked this wine. This blend was a mix of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. 30% was matured in 2nd fill barrels and the other 70% in 3rd fill barrels.

We then tried the Shiraz Mouvedre Viognier 2011 at R95 a bottle. It had a gorgeous floral and slightly sweet nose, was spicy and a little savoury on the palate. It apparently goes very well with pork. No new barrels were used, only 3rd and 4th fill barrels. I found this wine a heavier, more serious red with slightly dry tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Matured 2010 at R100 a bottle tasted the same on the palate as it did on the nose. It had powdery tannins. It was smooth and accessible. Smelled of plums and tobacco. It is a heavy red wine. Ideal with food. This wine spent 16 months in 40% new oak, 30% 2nd and 30% 3rd fill barrels.

To finish off the evening, we were given a tasting of the Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve 2008 at R240 a bottle. This is not normally available for tasting so this was a real treat for us. It smelled high in alcohol and a little sweet with hints of aniseed on the nose. It was very fruity, smooth, a little spicy and a little dry. I think it is best to decanter or age this wine. It had great body and is very full of fruit flavours.

We had a wonderful evening here at Kleine Zalze. The staff are very friendly and welcoming. Wayne truly is a character and will make your visit special and memorable. The wine is of good quality and they have such a range of wines to try!! The interior and exterior of this tasting room is very nice and welcoming. I recommend visiting this estate.

They have a restaurant here called Terroir. I haven't dined there but I have heard great feedback on their restaurant. The chef made a Thai green curry for us to enjoy after our tasting and it was truly fantastic!! It was authentic and truly the best Thai Green Curry I have had in SA!! I heard that this restaurant gets booked out well in advance in summer so if you plan to eat at this restaurant then book a few months in advance to avoid disappointment.

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