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Kleine Zalze Project Z Collector's Case

Kleine Zalze Project Z Collectors Case
Kleine Zalze Project Z Collector's Case
About Project Z
With Project Z, the team of winemakers at Kleine Zalze has free reign to interact with nature, to search for the ultimate expression from a vineyard and to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation in order to keep growing and evolving.
The 'project' originated back in 2014 from discussion between owner, Kobus Basson and the winemaking team. From the debates, the 'project' grew and today the cornerstones of the Project Z wines are a selection of vineyards on extraordinary sites and an impressive collection of Italian amphorae that were steadily acquired since 2015. And of course, a dedicated, committed, and skillful team.
The first wine was bottled in 2017 and by 2020 a unique range of signature wines were ready for release. Dressing the bottles was the only missing component. The packaging follows through on the journey of discovery and allows the winemaking team to own the full process of the creation of the first wines to be released in this range.
The Wines
Kleine Zalze, Project Z Chenin Blanc 2018
The grapes for Project Z Chenin Blanc 2018 were sourced from a vineyard over four decades old in the Firgrove region of Stellenbosch. Growing on clay and decomposed granite and subjected to the maritime airflow off the Atlantic Ocean at False Bay, the vineyard was selected for its ability to grow grapes offering a superior expression of the site’s unique geography.
'Overnight skin contact, then ferment & lees-ageing 10 months in amphora produce drop-dead-gorgeous 2018, showing Stellenbosch signature abundance with measured power (13.8% alcohol). Voluptuous & statuesque, stylish & flavourful, orchard & tropical fruit superbly poised on an acid & mineral backbone.' – Platter's Guide, 5* (96/100)
'Grapes from a 1980 Firgrove vineyard that also supplies a component of the well-established Family Reserve bottling. Fermented and matured in amphorae. Pear, peach, apple plus some yeasty complexity on the nose. The palate shows impressive richness and bright acidity before a savoury finish. Very good but, to my palate, not as intricate as the Family Reserve of the same vintage. Total production: 426 bottles.' – Christian Eedes,, 92/100
Alc: 13.9% | RS: 2.4 g/L | TA: 6.0 g/L | PH: 3.53
Kleine Zalze, Project Z Chenin Blanc Skin Contact 2018
Here, the skins of the Chenin Blanc grapes were not removed before fermentation and the interaction between skin and fermenting juice elevated the profile of this white wine into a new stratosphere.
The grapes were sourced from a vineyard over four decades old in the Firgrove region of Stellenbosch. Growing on clay and decomposed granite and subjected to the maritime airflow off the Atlantic Ocean at False Bay, the vineyard was selected for its ability to grow grapes offering a superior expression of the site’s unique geography.
'Grapes as above. Left for 10 days on the skins before fermentation and maturation in amphorae. Peach, orange, potpourri and a hint of spice on the nose. Good fruit density, punch acidity and a particularly savoury, slightly grippy palate. Intensely flavoured without being too peculiar. Total production: 595 bottles.' – Christian Eedes,, 94/100
'14 days skin maceration, then 10 months on lees in clay jars create this lean, athletic 2018 sibling. Tropical & citrus fruit on muscular but not brawny palate (12.8% alcohol), unfolding layers of texture reveal a pebbly, salty grip, with grapefruit pith on the finish.' – Platter's Guide, 4.5* (93/100)
Alc: 12.8% | RS: 3.0 g/L | TA: 6.4 g/L | PH: 3.47
Kleine Zalze, Project Z Grenache 2016
For the Project Z Grenache 2016 fruit was sourced from the slopes of the Simonsberg outside the town of Stellenbosch. Ancient soils of decomposed granite provide the fruit-driven harmony and balance, furthered by meticulous craftmanship in the winery.
'Light-feeling, delicate even, though no shortage of body (14.7% alcohol) or fruit intensity in 2016. Long creamy-savoury conclusion to flavours of wild berry, earthy dried herbs & subtle cured meat. Darling grapes (as next), foot-crushed in the traditional way, year older oak.' – Platter's Guide, 4.5* (93/100)
'W.O. Paarl. Matured for 18 months in old oak. Red and black berries, rose and spice as well as base notes of smoked meat, malt and earth. The palate is rich and broad with dense fruit and rather firm tannins. With an alcohol of 14.5%, this is rather old school in style. Total production: 271 bottles.' – Christian Eedes,, 90/100
Alc: 14.7% | RS: 2.8 g/L | TA: 5.5 g/L | PH: 3.74
Kleine Zalze, Project Z Grenache 2017
The grapes for Project Z Grenache 2017 were sourced from an old bush-vine vineyard in the cool-climate region of Darling on the Cape West Coast. Growing untamed and unbridled in sandy soils and subjected to the maritime airflow off the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyard was selected for its ability to grow grapes offering a superior expression of the site’s unique geography.
'Very stylish, brings great complexity to a light-textured & -bodied (12.9% alcohol) wine that fermented wholebunch in clay pots, first under carbonic maceration, then with light pump-overs. Aged 12 months in a single 500L amphora. Result is melt-in-the-mouth savoury notes of Iberian ham mingling with earthy blackberry & cherry in 2017.' – Platter's Guide, 5* (96/100)
'From a 1981 vineyard in Darling. Whole-bunch fermented in amphorae. The nose shows rose, red berries, dried herbs, a little spice and a hint of reduction. The palate shows pure fruit, zippy acidity and powdery tannins, the finish long and dry. With an alcohol of 13%, this is more New Wave in style than its counterpart above. Total production: 551 bottles.' – Christian Eedes,, 93/100
Alc: 13.1% | RS: 2.1 g/L | TA: 5.7 g/L | PH: 3.68
Kleine Zalze, Project Z Syrah 2017
Cluttered with massive rocks of broken shale and very close to False Bay’s restless Atlantic Ocean, the focus was on maintaining fruit-purity in one of the world’s great red wine varieties.
'From a Stellenbosch vineyard on shale. 100% whole-bunch fermented and matured in older oak. Very expressive, archetypal aromatics of red and blackberries, rosemary, white pepper and spice while the palate is particularly vivid and energetic – lovely pure fruit to go with a great line of acidity and fine tannins. With modest alcohol of 13%, this is beautifully judged and right up there with the best examples in the country. Total production: 1 002 bottles.' – Christian Eedes,, 97/100
'Combines wholebunch ferment with fruit from locally atypical shale soil for ‘very pure, elegant style showing classic Rhône notes’. Accurate depiction of lithe & sleek 2017, with pot-pourri, lavender & violet aromas, concentrated yet refined mulberry & plum flavours. Year older oak adds to complexity & gentle tannin structure. 12.8% alcohol. Stellenbosch WO, as rest of range.' – Platter's Guide, 5* (96/100)
Alc: 12.7% | RS: 2.1 g/L | TA: 5.9 g/L | PH: 3.6
Kleine Zalze, Project Z Sweet Fortified NV
This non-vintage Sweet Fortified wine pays tribute to this part of the Cape’s wine history but adds a dashing element of irreverence. As the grapes fermented, pure grape spirit was added to arrest the fermentation process and capture the essence of nectar, honey and natural sugars. Ageing in oak barrels broadened the wine, giving it power and weight in a cloak of sweet, delicious elegance.
'Fortified after-dinner treats not first thing that spring to mind here, but debut NV can stand among SA’s best. Honeydew melon in mouthful that’s sweet but whistle-clean, lively, invites a second sip. Successive vintages (2015-2018) of mostly chenin, muscat, viognier & sauvignon blended in a solera-style system into delicious whole. Certified as ‘Fortified Natural Sweet’. Coastal WO.' – Platter's Guide, 4.5* (93/100)
'A multi-varietal blend from the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintages, the different batches picked late and then fortified, the intention being to incorporate subsequent vintages according to the solera method. The nose shows candied orange, dried apricot, caramel, some nuttiness and spice. The palate is very rich and smooth textured before a savoury finish. Total production: 957 bottles.' – Christian Eedes,, 91/100
Alc: 17.5% | RS: 172 g/L | TA: 6.4 g/L | PH: 3.58
Technical Analysis
Wine Information
Brand Group Project Z
Variety n/a
  • Range: Project Z
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