Category Archives: Cabernet Sauvignon

Kleine Zalze Barrel Fermented Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

The Headlines: //

Like an emotional weightlifter – solid legs, followed by thick tears that run for days.
Colour is a medium intensity deep ruby hue, with medium+ viscosity.
Lovely open nose of pencil shavings, eucalyptus, and a hint of sweet plum.
On the palate, cassis and black cherries, with moderate acidity and pleasantly grippy tannins. I’m sure this will soften further with time, but I wouldn’t wait past 2018.

 Price: R120 (as of Sept 2016) //
Quality: 16/20//
Value: 3/5 //
Ponce factor: Moderate //
Occasion: Friday Dinner //
Key words: Consistency//

Vivino rating //

To fill those awkward silences…

Kleine Zalze is on fire right now

So you are struggling to maintain dinner guest interest with your passionate monologues on US politics? Why not try something a little closer to home; like how the combination of winemaker Kobus Basson and Kleine Zalze are a powerhouse combination to watch. Just have a gander at the little pretties they have produced over the last few years:
– a Platter 5-Star rating for their 2012 Barrel-Fermented Cabernet Sauvignon (R120.00),
– Chardonnay-du-Monde Top10  spot for their Vineyard Selection Wooded Chardonnay (R80.00),
– a Concours Mondiale Bruxelles Gold Medal for their 2015 Unwooded Chardonnay (R47.00)
– TWO Top10 spots in the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc competition (their Vineyard Select Chenin retails for about R80.00)

The list actually goes on for a lot longer, but what I wanted to focus on was the prices. If you look at the wines listed, none of them go over R120 per bottle, which is worth noting (as many of our 5-Star Platter wines and Chardonnay-du-Monde winners retail for between R250 and R450.00).

While it is kinda boring to faun like a schoolgirl at a Bieber concert, I do want to laud Kleine Zalze for their ability, not only to produce consistently great wines across a wide range of red and white varieties, but to deliver value to the customer, despite opportunities to sell wines for triple the price in foreign markets.

To be fair, that though was only marginally more than US politics. I apologise for over promising and under-performing.

To try and make up for that, and hopefully this will salvage your reputation as a conversationalist, I will leave you with one last Cab Sauv Moderately Fun Fact.

While Cabernet Sauvignon feels like a Big Daddy of a wine that will knock the socks of an unsuspecting winedrinker, it is actually the fortuitous little baby lovechild of a passionate night in the vineyards between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Which I guess makes it all the more suprising to see how the wee lad turned out. When you have light, dry, minimalist mother, and a rather effeminate and perfumey dad, the apple could hardly have fallen further from the tree.

Cheers!

KWV Mentors Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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#Oldenburg #CabernetSauvignon #redwine #stellenbosch

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The Headlines: //

Colour is superbly dense. Sweet blueberry and maraschino cherries abound on the vanguard, complicated by some gloriously open oak aromas.
Palate is heavy with ripe fruit; mostly continued black maraschino cherries, with soft pepper finish and some truly grippy tannins. Acidity is moderate.
This could go beyond Thunderdome in two years’ time. But, hell, at R300 per bottle, I guess I’ll never know.

Quality: 15/20 //
Price: R270 – R300 (as of Sept 2016) //
Value: 1/5 //
Ponce factor: Moderate to High //
Occasion: Wine ponce festival //
Key words: Fruit selection, ripening //
Vivino rating //

To fill those awkward silences:

A little on the South African vintage of 2013

Humidity was an issue in 2013. Too high a moisture content in the air can facilitate the danger of rot in the vines. But harvesting too early can lead to stalky and green notes popping up in your wines. So what to do? Wait for drier conditions in which to harvest; giving your fruit time to ripen, but also increasing the chance of losing your crop to rot.
As it turns out, those winemakers who took the risk of waiting it out for drier conditions were rewarded with a superb harvest (especially among the red wines). With KWV having supreme access to awesome  fruit, they could pretty much do what they wanted. Which helps when trying to make wise fruit selection.

A few tidbits on the KWV Mentors range

For those not familiar with the Mentors Range, it is worth noting that the KWV group needs to be understood as a conglomerate of hugely disparate brands, some of which should be given global respect…as opposed to being diluted by Coca Cola. Mentors is one such label. It is a range of wines that has garnered more international awards than almost any other range of wines that our young democracy has tolerated. So, even though this wine is decent, it’s backstory is almost better than what’s in the bottle. Enough to elevate it to the point of being awesome.

But why? Well, for starters, as is the case with all Mentors wines, winemaker Johan Fourie has his pick of some of the finest grapes from pretty much any grape growing region in the country (thanks to KWV’s vast empire and unrivalled access to the country’s prime grape growing outfits). But secondly, Johan Fourie is not a rubbish winemaker. He spent years as a viticulturist, understanding the raw product, which gave him an advantage over those who skipped the agricultural grounding and went straight into the cellar. And then, more recently, he was awarded the Jan Smuts award at the 2015 Young Wine awards for both his Cabernet sauvignon, and his Shiraz.

And if that isn’t enough to keep you entertained, Jan Fourie makes some of the finest Chardonnays that this country has ever seen.
So…plenty to talk about, so long as your dinner guests are vaguely interested in wine. However, if they aren’t, and you still have nothing interesting to add on the topic of democracy, government spending, or indie rock, a sure winner is to play the “artisanal versus big corporate” card (which everyone loves, regardless of the industry), and expand on how KWV manage to be both a big corporate, and an artisanal winemaking outfit that garners international awards.

 

Oldenburg 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

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#Oldenburg #CabernetSauvignon #redwine #stellenbosch

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 The Headlines: //

This cab looks and sounds a lot younger than it is. Aromas carry fairly fresh berry fruit & pencil shavings, while the palate hosts ripe cherry fruit, with gentle anise hints & oak spice on the finish. Tannins are present, but soft.
My critique would be that, for R230 per bottle, you get neither the complexity that usually accompanies moderate age, nor the stature and structure that one would expect from a Cabernet Sauvignon. In all honesty, during the blind tasting, the lighter berry-like nature and fairly open nose left me thinking it was a Cabernet Franc.

Quality: 15/20 //
Price: R230 (as of September 2016) //
Value: 1/5 //
Ponce factor: Moderate to High //
Occasion: A second date. Fireside drinking. //
Key words: Vintage, Terroir //
Vivino rating //

To fill those awkward silences…

By all accounts, 2009 was a great year for South African wine, across both whites and reds. So apart from the fact that it would take a very brave/rude/insecure dinner guest to start tearing apart a wine bottled in the previous decade, you as host at least have confidence in the knowledge that you have served a bottle with a lot of intellectual value supporting it. It hails from one of South Africa’s most celebrated Cabernet Sauvignon regions (Stellenbosch is world renowned for its big, fruit-foreward, classic new world reds) and was harvested in a vintage that has been amongst the best that South Africa has seen in the last ten years.

If you need the extra intel to fill awkward silences, it may help to know that the vines are relatively young, planted in 2005. If no one is looking particularly impressed with what’s in their glasses, it may help to lift the mood by muttering something about how it will be exciting to see these youngish vines mature over the next few vintages. Folk should nod knowingly at the sentiment and, hopefully, leave you alone after that.