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.
NJ were the first to plant Albariño in 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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
It’s a Swartland Sunday here. The Mullineux Quartz Chenin is absolutely hitting it out of the park - sensational stuff!
The Columella open for a couple of hours and just getting into its stride. Have got the braai all ready with some Dexter skirt so even though the weather and temperature may not quite be the Cape, the food and wine is!