The 2021 results of the Amorim Cap Classique Challenge was announced this afternoon at the magnificent Tintswalo Atlantic. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the challenge which is now firmly established as the definitive competition for Cap Classique in South Africa. Adding further prominence to the occasion is that Cap Classique marks its 50th anniversary this year.
The Amorim Cap Classique Challenge awards five category trophies for Best Brut, Best Rose, Best Blanc de Blanc, Best Museum Class and Best Demi-Sec wines. The overall highest scoring wine is awarded the top trophy as Best Cap Classique Producer Overall. The Kleine Zalze Vintage Brut 2015 received not only the trophy for the Best Brut Cap Classique but was the top scoring wine of the entire event to receive the top honours of Best Producer Overall at the 2021 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge.
Earlier today, the results of the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge were also revealed. The competition honours the ten top scoring wines and awards a cash prize of R25 000 to each winning wine. The sponsor requires the prize money to be invested into special social projects. Kleine Zalze excelled at the 2021 challenge with not one but two wines in the Top 10. The wines are the Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2020 and the Vineyard Selection Chenin Blanc 2020. Amazingly, this is a repeat of the results in 2019 when the Family Reserve 2018 and Vineyard Selection 2018 also were both in the Top 10.
The Kleine Zalze monetary award from the Top 10 Challenge will again be invested in Kleine Zalze’s Fairtrade Project Fund, established in 2014 to assist the Kleine Zalze workers and broader community with social upliftment projects.
The latest two achievements and announcements follow on the heels of Kleine Zalze’s triumph at the Shiraz 2021 Top 12 Wine Challenge in July. Two Kleine Zalze Shiraz wines, the Family Reserve 2017, and the Vineyard Selection 2018, were amongst the top scoring 12 wines.
The achievements unreservedly reaffirm Kleine Zalze, which celebrates 25 years of winemaking this year, as one of South Africa’s most accomplished wineries, reflecting consistent excellence across vintages, cultivars, styles, and price categories.
“Doing well in one competition is always great but being consistently recognised at a top level for decades – as Kleine Zalze has been – reveals something deeper and richer,” says recently appointed cellarmaster RJ Botha. “It is furthermore a testament to the investment and faith of Kobus Basson, Kleine Zalze’s owner”.
“The consistency with which Kleine Zalze is recognised, both locally and internationally, is a reflection not only of Kleine Zalze as one of the area’s oldest farms, but also of the diverse and unique terroir, and hard work that has gone into working with nature,” says RJ. “Done this way, the result can only be wines of character, complexity and balance.”
RJ says that the awards are also a personal highlight, considering it’s the first time he enters the awards season in the position of Kleine Zalze cellarmaster and “at the head of such a great team”. The former head of winemaking, RJ was appointed as cellarmaster in June 2021.