South African Saviour

To Delheim to have my long awaited Cape Malay Chicken Curry

I was pressed to try a glass of their new Riesling

Bottled without their usual label because this was a collaboration with a winemaker they’d flown in from Germany.

Riesling is not my ‘go-to’ wine but I really enjoyed this, crisply dry with a fresh lemon thread to it and none of the oily petrol notes I dislike (except in blind tastings).

And, allelujah, the sun came out as the clouds cleared.

This is the view we had, taken at the table.

and this is the view from that direction. You’ve caught us with the only dessert we’ve had so far, but I couldn’t resist Pinotage ice-cream.

We were only going to have a glass of wine each, Pinotage for me and Grand Reserve for Mrs M, but not only were we gifted a glass each of Riesling but co-owner Victor Sperling brought over a bottle of Vera Cruz Pinotage


Last dinner came this.


Ordered a case of Cap Classique from Klein Constantia. At £18 a bottle, it’s one of the best values around for sparkling wine, anywhere.


Was in the Hemel en Aarde a few weeks back - Newton Johnson consistently on point and if you can try the single vineyard offerings ( Windansea and Seadragon) they are superb. No release from Restless River sadly. The Creation pinots were a little young but could be brilliant in a year or two. We had a glass of the Hamilton Russell later and that was pretty good.

Looks like the Boekenhoutskloof Cap Maritime project needs to findvineyards more suited to Pinot as their initial blocks are much better for Chardonnay. Will be great in the hands of Gottfried Mocke. He did share the 2020 BHK range with me when I was in Franschhoek and they are superb. Can also recommend their steakhouse and wine shop in the village InVINcible. The meat from Ryan Boon is superb.




Thank you Peter

Just reminded me that I should have posted this message here on Monday

NJ were the first to plant Albariño in :south_africa: and from the first release in 2013 it has come on in leaps and bounds since then. Mrs Quickben’s favourite wine with her plate from Ocean Badket.

Smiling about Glenwood as her neighbour’s house has same name. Previous owner only liked Chardonnay in unoaked expression and the Glenwood was a favourite - I suggested it was their house wine. The sign to the winery on the R45 in Franschhoek says “Glenwood/Four Paws” and next property along from our lane has a dog day care called Four Paws! Glenwood owned by a former colleague as well so always got a soft spot for it.

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Springfield also do it and our friend at NJ told us that there are more plantings on other estates yet to go into production. We brought a bottle of the NJ one back on our 2022 visit and have just unpacked the bottle of Springfield brought back this time.


Platter 2022 also shows Botanica and Spier as producers of varietal Albarino.

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And TWS is now offering the former :slight_smile:

A very enjoyable offer with dinner tonight.


Thoughts in Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch 2017?

I’ve enjoyed wines I’ve had from them in the past (particularly their now defunct Mint cuvee), good year and five stars from Platter. Is this as much of a no-brainer as it looks? How much more sleep does it need?


This is Kanonkop and manually punching down the cap ! Look at all those lovely grapes :grapes: :star_struck::heart_eyes:!


No brainer in my humble view… Thelema is consistently good, and this a good vintage. Price looks good, unless you could get it as part of a 25% off discount offer. I suspect future vintages will reflect recent inflation and be at £25+ mark.

I say this as a Thelema fan having lived in SA for a year around 2000. Loved exploring SA wines at that time and have always enjoyed Thelema since then.


I really liked the Thelema “Mint” as well - I have one bottle left of the last vintage before they tore it up.

If I wasn’t already 80% over budget YTD I’d probably plough in…

There is a lot of really good value in SA wines imho, especially when compared to some of the old world price cranks we keep seeing.


We enjoyed a bottle in January. Those were my notes:

smooth, suave and svelte sort of wine. Majority of Cab Sauv (90%) with a seasoning of Petit Verdot this is plush and yet minty and lifted on the palate. No sign of age in the glass, the nose entices with vanilla, cassis, baking spices, cedar and incense smoke.

Broad and generous on the palate, there is good structure and poise here, nevertheless. Blackberry jam, cassis and dark cherries are wrapped in dark chocolate, clove and cinnamon, delicate vanilla and smoke and the whole ensemble finishes on a fresh minty note.

There’s definitely a few more years in this charming number yet, but here’s a nagging thought: this is what many oaked reds taste like. I could well imagine thinking this is a good oaked Rioja if I tasted it blind. The aroma sensations, the flavours, the texture… it feels a bit of a template. Not the wine’s fault, of course – more my own, but in any case - there is no doubt this is a pleasurable, comforting sort of winter wine.


Tempting. I loved the Thelema Rabelais 2017 when I tried it, haven’t tried the normal cab sav. I think I need to drink similar bottles stylistically that are sitting in reserves ahead of this particular wine, before topping it up with even more. It is a style I enjoy and at £20 I think will be great QPR. If you have no pipeline of wine in this style a no brainer


Seems I am building up quite the South African 2017 horizontal.

Warwick Trilogy, Rubicon, several Vergelegen and now this. Sucks to be me :frowning:


And … bought! Just the exploratory bottle.

I know I am doing this wrong because an exploratory bottle needs to be bought and drunk relatively quickly, so if you do enjoy the style, there are bottles left to buy.

I also plan to leave a few years before opening (see doing this wrong) to get a better sense of the bottle when developed.

I really do need to keep my eye out for tastings. Alas, I had to miss the Lay & Wheeler [Rhone] tasting as I performed a last-minute pull-out due to illness. 4 frickin’ months waiting for the goddamn tasting, and was hit with a developing cold on the day.


Ah shame on the illness. So very frustrating when these things happen.

Tastings are the way to go (cost effective + accelerated learning) for figuring out what you like IMO so worth keeping an eye out. :+1:

I’m sure with one bottle it’ll either be a stimulating learning experience, or something you really enjoy, so should be good either way I hope.