#238 Thelema Mountain Vineyards Riesling 2018
VIDEO CONTENTS INDEX:
00:00 – INTRO
00:30 – WHAT IS A “THELEMA”?
01:15 – WHERE IS THELEMA?
02:05 – WHAT DOES THE THELEMA RIESLING TASTE AND SMELL LIKE?
05:15 – WHAT IS 1,1,6-TRIMETHYL-1,2-DIHYDROXYNAPTHALENE?
Thelema is an absolute Stellenbosch institution. Bought by winemaking legend Gyles Webb in 1983, Thelema fast grew into one of the most established wine brands in South Africa. And
while the estate is situated in the dramatic Helshoogte Pass, high up against the flanks of the Simonsberg, The inspiration hails from an imaginary French paradise, dreamt up by a 16th century monk. In this imagined utopia, there was only one rule – “Do what thou Wilt”.
One might be forgiven for thinking that this monk had simply foreseen the birth of Spring Break, but he claimed that he was, in fact, envisioning a luxury co-ed monastery called Théleme, where nuns and monks could… do what they wilt. So, yeah, I guess Spring Break…but in the Loire Valley, rather than Cancun.
Thelema’s Riesling 2018 is an enormously accessible rendering of the cultivar that is born out some of the most picturesque misty mountain vineyards that Stellenbosch has to offer. BUT…if you have yet to sign up for your Monthly HanDrinksSolo Wine Subscription then you’ll have to hunt this wine down in your own time. But until then, here are my tasting notes and some technical specs:
👃🏼 As a wine that is released with four years of cellar age, the nose already possesses a number of tertiary elements that make Riesling so distinctive. There are generous elements of beeswax, kerosene, honey, peaches, and lemon blossom.
👄 The mouthfeel is pleasantly full with heaps of sunshine fruit; zingy fresh pineapple slices and homemade lemonade. These elements morph into a slightly more serious lingering lime cordial finish. The rounded, generous fruit centre may present as a tad too friendly for the ascetics amongst us, but the style is just so damn balanced and accessible that it’s hard not to love. Also, those lovely little tertiary waxy, kerosene elements it to feel like you’re getting the street cred of prog rock on the nose, while still vibing like K-pop on the palate.
Wine of Origin Stellenbosch. Fruit is harvested from 36-year-old vines grown at about 380m ASL. Fruit is all destemmed, crushed and cold macerated overnight before being pressed and fermented at 14 degrees Celsius. Wine is left on its gross lees for 6 months before bottling.
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