Comfort Food and Wine
30 June 2016
We have welcomed the first Cape winter rains with open arms after a long, dry summer and autumn. The colder weather is also a good motivator to move indoors and socialise around the fire place as opposed to huddling around the outside braai. Tjops and salad make way for hearty stews and a healthy helping of carbs (for our non-Banting followers) and our wine glasses are filled to the brim with rich Cabernet Sauvignons, creamy Chardonnays and lush Merlots.
On the farm, the team is waiting for the weather to clear before they start the annual winter pruning of the vines. On an exciting note, with the summer fire clearing the brush around our high lying vineyards, Gyles saw the potential for establishing a new 1 ha block on the estate. The soil has been ploughed and prepped and we look forward to growing some high-altitude Grenache on this site.
When it comes to the 2016 white wines, we get numerous requests regarding their release date, to which we happily respond with, “What’s the rush?”. We feel our whites benefit from spending an extra month or two on their fine lees before we start preparing them for the final bottling in July. In the mean time, the winery team are racking the 2016 reds that have finished with Malolactic fermentation and returning the wines to barrel for maturation.
THELEMA CHARDONNAY 2014 TAKES HOME GOLD AT IWC 2016
South African winemakers had a standout year at the International Wine Challenge 2016. Following two weeks of intensive blind tasting in London last month, panels of international wine experts awarded 21 Gold medals, 98 Silver and 169 Bronze medals, bringing the total medal tally to 288.
We are thrilled to announce that the Thelema Chardonnay 2014 was one of the wines that brought home a Gold Medal at this year’s competition. This award is a great follow up on last year’s Regional Trophy and Gold medal awarded to our cool-climate Sutherland Chardonnay and a testament to our passion for this variety. Judges said the Thelema Chardonnay “invokes a struck match character on the nose, overlaying appealing citrus fruits and creamy flavours, with a long rich finish.” Simply put, it’s a delicious wine!
My favourite white wine at the moment is the Sutherland Viognier / Roussanne. It’s a bit like a red wine except it’s white! One of the components is Roussanne, which has small hard berries with a pinkish hue. The wines they produce have a distinctive floral character with quite a bit of tannin, which softens as the wine matures in barrel. The end result is a lovely, complex mouthful – it really is a wine you should try!
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
- 10 July – Bastille Festival at Brasserie de Paris at Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria
- 27 July – Caroline’s Red Wine Review at The Table Bay Hotel, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
- 6 – 8 August – Hermanus Wine & Food Festival at Curro Private School, Hermanus
- 18 August – The Unusuals Wine Festival, presented by Wine Menu at The Wanderers Club, Illovo, Johannesburg
- 24 – 26 August – The Mercury Wine Week 2016 at Greyville Racecourse, Durban