3 December 2015
These are the nervous and exciting times in the vineyards. At the moment things look good; a decent size crop, even fruit set, healthy vines and a moderate climate, although it is very dry. In the short term these conditions suit us because, normally, our vines are vigorous and they want to produce lots of shoots and leaves, but we want them to concentrate on producing lots of brilliant fruit. The current dry conditions have curtailed the vigorous growth and the vines look to be in lovely balance this year, and we have irrigation installed to relieve any serious stress situations should they arise. So, what could go wrong? Well, the weather for one, and pests, and the exchange rate, and fires on the mountain, and the Stormers…
In the winery we’re hard at work getting the 2014 red wines into bottle and also making up the 2015 wooded white blends, to be bottled shortly. Every year I become more and more convinced that our Elgin white wines provide fantastic drinking enjoyment, and they age brilliantly. The Sutherland Chardonnay 2012 won the trophy at the International Wine Challenge for the Best South African Chardonnay (I think there are still a few cases for sale!) and last week I opened the 2010 equivalent and it is an absolute beauty – lovely colour, complexity and length. And a fraction of the price of a Burgundy! This is the style that we like to make – complex, balanced, savoury, low in alcohol and with excellent ageing potential. The Viognier / Roussanne is another that is highly recommended. This wine is fermented in older French barrels so the wood influence is not obvious, but there is a wonderful nutty, peach pip character and texture with a bite of tannin that makes this a great food accompaniment. In ten years I think this wine will be a South African icon – so there!
We have some other lovely wines to offer now:
The 2015 Sauvignon blancs are intensely concentrated this year and I believe that these will develop beautifully after a few months in the bottle. Worth trying is our maiden vintage of Thelema Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, produced from one of our high altitude blocks on the Thelema estate.
The Thelema Verdelho 2015 is the first release of this interesting Portuguese variety and it shows lively, crisp, fruity characteristics – think fiery chicken livers and Fado music.
The Sutherland Grenache Rosé is another cracker for summertime drinking – this wine is dry and refreshing with a beautiful light pink hue.
If you are in the Cape this festive season, I hope you have time to pop in to Thelema for a chat and a tasting.
Wishing all of you a peaceful and joyous holiday season.
Until next time.
TASTING ROOM OPENING TIMES DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON
If you’re planning on visiting Thelema during the Festive Season, please take note of our opening hours:
- Thursday, 24th December – OPEN 09h00 – 14h00
- Friday, 25th December – CLOSED
- Saturday, 26th December – CLOSED
- Thursday, 31st December – OPEN 09h00 – 14h00
- Friday, 1st January – CLOSED
WINE EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN THE NEW YEAR
Our calendar is already filling up for 2016. The following events are not to be missed: