Crush – 100 South African Wines to drink now, #8, Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017…

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

I have known Kleine Zalze Wines for at least 20 years. We had them listed on our restaurant wine list, then already as wines of interest. And they just get better as each year goes by. Alistair Rimmer, the Cellarmaster of a couple of years has settled in, got to know the Estate’s vineyards and is producing some fine stuff with his team, vide the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. Do look out for the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2016, another truly and deeply delicious expression of the grape.

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the harvester’s hands

The grapes for the Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 are supplied mainly by the Estate’s own vineyards and some from selected parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, vineyards managed by Kleine Zalze. Once in the Cellar the grapes are sorted, and the different blocks are vinified separately for later blending. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and open top fermenters where punch downs and pump overs take place regularly to get excellent extraction of colour and soft tannins. Once pressed after fermentation the wine was taken to French oak barrels for 18 months. 40% of the barrels were new, with 30% each of second fill. The wine was then blended and prepared for bottling.

Alastair Rimmer, Cellarmaster & Kobus Basson, Kleine Zalze’s Owner

From a Bordeaux style bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is black with gold printing, very elegant. In the glass, the wine is a dark plum at the heart which pales out to a purple tinged ruby at the edges. The aromas and flavours are of blackcurrants, red and black berries and cherries. Cashmere clad tannins in a dry, harmonious, long aftertaste with an undertow of Crème de Cassis.

Christine Capendale’s Oxtail ragout with crispy bacon & button mushrooms

Stellenbosch is very proud of its Cabernet Sauvignons and Kleine Zalze can be very proud of this classic. It is a food wine, great with lusty vegetarian dishes, perfect with almost any meat dish, duck and even chicken cooked in red wine coq au vin style. Christine Capendale’s Oxtail ragout with crispy bacon & button mushrooms is the perfect dish for these cool evenings.

Christine Capendale with her recently released book, Meals

Christine Capendale’s Oxtail ragout with crispy bacon & button mushrooms

Most recipes for oxtail are very complicated.  This one is very simple and takes almost no effort!  The crispy bacon and mushrooms added just before serving gives it a special twist and enhances the flavours of the oxtail beautifully.

Serves 6

50 ml olive oil
1,5 kg  trimmed oxtail, excess fat removed
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 leeks, sliced and rinsed
50 g flour
1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
1 tin chopped tomato
300 ml chicken stock
2 large sprigs of rosemary
100 ml chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
15 ml paprika
250g crispy, chopped cooked bacon
250g button mushrooms
50g butter
chopped parsley, rosemary and thyme for serving

Pre heat the oven to 150°C.
Heat the oil in cooking casserole (it must be able to go into the oven) and brown the meat.  Season very well with salt and black pepper.
Add the carrots and leeks, cook for a few minutes and sprinkle with the flour
Stir fry a little and then add the wine, stock and the chopped tomatoes. Add the paprika and the fresh herbs.
Place the lid on the casserole and place in the oven for about 4 hours – the meat must almost come off the bone and the liquid must be reduced to a thick glossy sauce.   Check every hour to see if you need to add more liquid.
Season to taste with more salt and black pepper if needed.
Saute the mushrooms in the butter, season with salt and black pepper
Add the mushrooms, crispy bacon and chopped herbs to the oxtail just before serving.
Serve with pasta OR brown basmati rice OR couscous.

Read more about Kleine Zalze – CLICK HERE