Saturday Snapshot -Kleine Zalze Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2011

Feb 02, 13 Saturday Snapshot -Kleine Zalze Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2011

Posted by in Saturday Snapshot, South Africa

Okay, so it has been a long time coming but I am being converted to the wines of South Africa. I remember when I first started wine tasting, S. African wines were definitely not my go-to choice. The reds tasted of an odd, burnt flavour and the whites were frankly, lemon water. Happily, the wines, they are a-changing. I have of course tried the wines of Seven Springs vineyards, which I have reviewed here in the past. And just the other day, I received a sample of a red wine from Kleine Zalze Winery. Kleine Zalze it has to be said, have been around a long time. They were founded in 1695 and are still a family owned estate. They make premium red and white wines and are known for their quality. I have had the higher end of their range and it is very good. The wine I had though was from their entry-level range, the Zalze 2011 Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier blend. An interesting take on the classic Shiraz/Viognier blend that is originally from the Rhone Valley, this wine was certainly much more then I was expecting. As I said earlier, I often think of South African reds as having a slightly burnt or smoky (not in a good way) character to them, but this wine was delicious: medium-bodied with loads of blackberry and red fruit notes on the palate, the Viognier gave it a slightly lifted nose with spicy notes mingling in there as well. I like to have my wine with dinner and this one I had with sweet potatoes (I eat them all the time in the winter) and a pork chop. It was a great little wine: good acidity and flavourful, but not overwhelming the food. The best bit is that this wine is available for under a tenner. That’s right, you can snap up a bottle for £6.99 from Ocado. At those prices, I’d pick up a couple of bottles! NOTE* I originally wrote this review for redwine.co.uk and occasionally re-post wines I...

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Kaapzicht pinotage at a South African braai

During the recent World Cup fervor I attended a good old-fashioned South African braai sponsored by the Wines of South Africa at the Orangery in Kew Gardens. I’ve recently become a bit of a convert to South African wines and will even drink, *gasp* pinotage. However, it can’t be any pinotage, I do have my standards you know, and it has to be a pinotage with some age on it. I’ve found that pinotages that are from 2007 or older show much better then the young ones. Young pinotages often have that smokey, burnt, pongy quality that put me off of them in the first place and I think they need a few years to mellow out into a more drinkable wine. There were a variety of South Africa’s finest on show, both red and white but the one that took my fancy was the 2007 Kaapzicht  pinotage. Kaapzicht means “cape view” and the vineyards are situated in the shadow of Table Mountain in the Stellenbosh wine region of South Africa. The winery is in the Bottelary Hills of Stollenbosch and benefits from an ideal climate to grow grapes as well as cool sea breezes and north-west facing slopes. The vines that the Kaapzicht pinotage comes from are gnarled old vines that produce low yielding intensely concentrated red wines. The 2007 pinotage was a hugely enjoyable wine. I have to admit, I found it hard to believe that it was a pinotage at first as it was not smokey or burnt but rather fresh and full of very ripe berry fruit on the nose and palate. It had some lovely toasty notes to it, reminiscent of cedar box and tobacco. At the braii, we had ostrich burgers and other exotic meats and I found this wine to be the best match to go with all those exotic meats. I’d never had ostrich before so it was a new experience for me. Not gamey but not steaky, I’m not sure how to describe it other...

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