This week I was invited to Le Wine Chambre to taste the new vintages of the Sutherland Reserve wines from Thelema. So Natalie, Pete and I took a nice, easy autumn walk from the Illovo store up the street and around the corner where we found the ever-organised Karen Green standing at a table with her new vintages and a couple of delicious, morning appropriate snacks beside her.
As with everything we have come to love about Thelema, it was all perfectly under-stated and comfortable. The wines I tasted all have good reason to shout loudly from the rooftops – in this order:
Sutherland Reserve Chardonnay 2016.
Beautifully expressive of its provenance, the wine shows depth and breadth and some brioche-like creaminess but does not lack the linear pinch of chalky soils. So beautifully balanced!
Sutherland Reserve Grenache 2016.
Grenache is the sexiest red grape around at the moment. Everybody wants it and with good reason. Its sort of the ‘poor man’s pinot noir’ but in some instances where the guys get it right its just so much more gorgeous than some of the pinots around. These Sutherland grapes are jampacked with raspberry fruit – just as they should be. The typicity is spot on and the sheer lusciousness of this wine is too compelling to forget. You have to try a bottle! Clean, fresh, juicy red fruit very daintily put together – who can resist that?
Sutherland Reserve Petit Verdot 2015.
Now we all know that 2015 was a cracker of a vintage for most of the red varietals in SA. And those of you who know me know that I am not big on Petit Verdot as a single varietal. It’s used primarily in a typical Bordeaux style blend for that intense magenta colour that it is famous for and to add to the aromatics – but to be fair – usually 5% of PV is more than enough to splash into a blend. Having said all that we ended up draining the tasting glass! Anybody who would like to know what English Violets really smell like needs to nose this wine; intensely floral and chocolatey on the nose the palate delivered similarly but with a dusting of white pepper on the finish. You could be easily caught off guard and label it a Cabernet Franc in a blind tasting. Smart wine!
They are all line priced at somewhere around R290 a bottle in the stores and will be in stock in Johannesburg within the month of June. Notch them up as ‘not to be missed’.