Kleine Zalze Sails into Top 10 FNB Sauvignon Blanc Spot with Family Reserve Showpiece

Kleine Zalze Wines’ quest for complexity and depth in Sauvignon Blanc through maturation in barrel and amphora, along with grapes from selected cool-climate sites, saw Kleine Zalze land a coveted top 10 spot in this year’s annual FNB Sauvignon BlancSA Top 10. This year Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2022 was awarded a Sauvignon Blanc SA Top 10 award in the leading competition for Cape Sauvignon Blanc which attracted 169 from wineries committed to South Africa’s leading single cultivar white wine grape.

RJ Botha, Kleine Zalze cellarmaster and chairperson of Sauvignon BlancSA, the representative body for South African Sauvignon Blanc producers, says this Top 10 award for the Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022, which was matured in wood and clay amphorae, underscores the fact that wines of greater complexity with broader flavour spectrums are increasingly gaining recognition from wine judges as well consumers.

“Traditionally the appeal of Sauvignon Blanc wines from New World producers such as New Zealand, Chile and South Africa lay in fresh, zippy unwooded Sauvignon Blancs that express the variety’s tropical fruit and cut grass characteristics,” says Botha. “But these features are only one side of what Sauvignon Blanc has to offer. A growing number of producers, Kleine Zalze included, are committed to unleashing the full potential of the Sauvignon Blanc grape through skin-contact at harvest and maturing the wine in oak barrels and amphorae to allow the variety’s full potential to come to the fore in terms of depth, complexity and texture.”

Stephan Claassen, from Top 10 sponsor FNB with Kleine Zalze’s winemaking team Lizemari Geldenhuys, Hanri Ferreira, RJ Botha and Nataleé Botha.

Made from grapes grown in Durbanville and Darling, Klein Zalze Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022 sees a 50% portion of post-harvest juice given 12hrs’ contact with the skins to draw structure and nuance. The other half of the grapes were whole-bunch pressed ensuring juice of exceptional purity.

The portion of juice that received skin contact was fermented in stainless steel tanks while the whole-bunch portion was fermented in new 400l French oak barrels and Italian terracotta amphorae. The wine spent six months on the lees in barrel and amphorae before it was blended and bottled.


“This approach allows the Sauvignon Blanc variety to reveal its startling elegance and sophistication, showing that not only is the grape capable of producing one of the world’s most popular white wines, but that it can also assume the sophistication and complexity allowing Sauvignon Blanc to comfortably sit alongside the great white wines from any international region,” says Botha. “I am therefore truly enamoured that the Sauvignon BlancSA Top 10 is recognising Kleine Zalze and other producers’ commitment to wooded and amphora styles as this is heralding a new chapter for South Africa’s most popular white wine.”

On behalf of MediaVision Communications

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