Wine Of The Week Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Brut Rosé NV

Winona Griggs

My Pick of the Week: Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Brut Rosé NV

Let me introduce you to a delightful bubbly that will add a touch of charm to any special moment.

Kleine Zalze, a renowned winery in Stellenbosch, has a rich history of crafting exceptional cap classique wines. These sparkling wines are traditional yet refreshing, embodying the perfect balance of elegance and excitement. According to cellarmaster RJ Botha, their non-vintage MCCs are created to be approachable, appealing, and suitable for any joyous occasion that deserves a hint of effervescence.

The Magic of Bubbles

When it comes to the Cap Classique Brut Rosé, the grapes used to make it come from vineyards in both Stellenbosch and Robertson. It’s interesting to note that each region contributes its own unique characteristics to the blend. The chardonnay grapes from Robertson, with its limestone-rich soils, bring about a beautiful expression of fruit. On the other hand, the pinot noir grapes from cooler sites in the False Bay area provide the wine with fresh acidity. The weather during October and November was cold, resulting in smaller berries and looser bunches for the pinot noir, which ultimately led to a more concentrated and flavorful fruit.

When I’m out in the vineyard, I pick the fruit by hand, always in the briskness of the early morning. It’s a delicate task that requires a keen eye. I’m on the lookout for a precise level of ripeness. You see, when it comes to sparkling wines, we opt to harvest the grapes earlier than usual. This way, we achieve a delightful balance of lower alcohol content and higher acidity. But for our beloved pinot noir, we wait patiently until the fruit has colored beautifully and possesses a delightful fruity essence. This characteristic enhances the final flavor profile of the wine. And let’s not forget about the chardonnay. We take great care not to pluck the grapes too early. This ensures that there are no unpleasant green flavors present in our wines. It’s a labor of love, indeed.”

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When it comes to making sparkling wine, we have our process down to a science. First, we start by pressing whole bunches and using only the free-run juice. This ensures that we get the best flavors from the grapes.

After that, each type of grape is treated separately. We use stainless steel tanks to ferment and mature the wine for 18 months on the lees in the bottle. This gives the wine its unique character and depth of flavor.

“In essence, we want to keep the wine as neutral as possible in the beginning,” says RJ, our winemaker. “The real magic happens during the fermentation process in the bottle, where the yeast adds its own flavors.”

Introducing the Kleine Zalze Cap Classique Brut Rosé NV

When it comes to the Cap Classique Brut Rosé, the winemaker describes it as a wine that embodies tradition while still being fun and flirtatious. It has a certain flair that not only pleases the palate but also catches the eye. According to the winemaker, this wine is meant to be enjoyed in everyday life, as it has a very appealing and inviting style.

Unlike more serious vintage cap classiques with their dry biscotti flavors, this wine leans towards the fresh and fruity side. It has a particular affinity for red berries, especially strawberries.

With its elegant layers of finesse and delicate silver-pink hue, complete with a lively cascading sparkle, this wine exudes a festive and celebratory atmosphere. However, don’t save it just for special occasions and holidays.

“It’s a wine for any occasion,” says the winemaker. “Lately, we’ve been enjoying it with desserts. It adds a lot of fun to the end of a meal when you can savor a sparkling wine. The rosé pairs perfectly with summertime desserts that feature fruit or are chilled. One dessert that comes to mind is pavlova with a generous serving of berries.”

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