Thelema Wines to sparkle with new MCC this year!

Thelema Banner and candle Whale Cottage PortfolioThelema hosted a tasting of its Thelema and Sutherland brand wines for hotel and restaurant staff as well as writers at Dear Me in the city centre yesterday.  At the tasting it was announced that a Thelema MCC will be launched later this year.

We were welcomed with a glass of 1994 MCC, a once-off production, which had been made for a family wedding.  It was disgorged three years ago. Thelema was bought by Gyles Webb in 1983, then a 157 ha fruit farm. It is one of the highest and coolest wine estates in the area.  The first wines were produced in 1988. The Thelema Family Trust bought the 100 ha Sutherland farmThelema MCC Whale Cottage Portfolio in Elgin in 2002, and half of the apple orchards were replaced with vines.  The Sutherland wines are slower to ripen, being grown in the cooler climate Elgin, have more minerality, are more approachable, and can be drunk sooner. They are made at Thelema’s cellar in Stellenbosch.  Rudi Schultz has been the winemaker since 2000, with Webb the Cellarmaster. Thelema is particularly well-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.

Three tables offered tastings of wines:

*   Thelema Red wines Whale Cottage PortfolioThelema’s current vintages of Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R75), Chardonnay 2012 (R110), Rhine Riesling 2011 (R65), Muscat de Frontignan 2013 (R55), Mountain Red 2011 (R65), Merlot 2010 (15% alcohol, full bodied, black currant, R130), Merlot Reserve 2010 (R225), Shiraz 2011 (18 months in French oak, 15 % alcohol, spicy and peppery, R130), Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (R185), and The Mint Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (R225).

*   Sutherland’s current vintages of Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R70), Chardonnay 2011 (R90), Viognier-Roussanne 2011 (R90), Rhine Riesling 2012 (R65), Pinot Noir 2012 (R110), Syrah 2009 (with fynbos on the nose, Thelema Sutherland Banner Whale Cottage Portfolio18 months in the barrel, lean, and more delicate, R100), and Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot 2010 (a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, R100).

*  Vintage Thelema wines, which included a 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon (very limited stock, R332.26 per bottle): Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (R249,63); Riesling 2009 (R60,50); Chardonnay 2006 (R150,58); and an excellent 2007 Shiraz, which won Best Red Wine at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show in 2011 (R146,41).

Thelema Food platter Whale Cottage PortfolioThe wines were accompanied by a large platter of charcuterie and cheeses, and artisan breads, prepared by Dear Me Chef Vanessa Marx.

Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch. Tel (021) 885-1924. www.thelema.co.za  Twitter: @ThelemaWines

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

4 replies on “Thelema Wines to sparkle with new MCC this year!”

  1. Nick Jones says:

    The Merlot Reserve 2010 was sold out when I visited at the end of February. ūüôĀ
    The 2012 Reserve will be released on 1 October, just in time for my next visit! ūüôā

  2. Nick Jones says:

    We brought home 24 bottles of the ordinary Merlot last moth.Went through the red channel at LHR but as usual there was no customs officer on duty at 05.30 hours. ūüôā

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