(2021) like the Sauvignon Blanc in this range, sourced from Elgin, and aged for nine months in French oak barrels. A nice garnet colour, with a little transparency, the nose is suffused with exotic smoky spices, a fragrant red cherry and fruit beneath. In the mouth it is more savoury than the nose suggests perhaps, an earthy, even slightly leathery character, tannins dry but fine and the acidity balancing.
(2021) A blend of 80% Viognier and 20% Roussanne, this is barrel-fermented and aged 10 months in seasoned barrels, with batonnage. It's a vividly fruity and luscious wine, with apricot and nectarine, but also a little bit struck match or flint, an interesting reductive component familar in many Chardonnays, and adding a layer interest here. The oak adds a creamy and gently smoky touch on nose and palate, in the mouth lots of bright, orangey acidity to briskly keep the ripe stone fruits zipping along. Quite long, again the barrel adding some vanilla and texture into the finish.
(2021) From the cool of Elgin, but quite a full, golden and buttery style, with no sign of the flinty character of Thelema's Stellenbosch Chardonnay. Fermented and matured for 10 months in 228-litre French oak barrels, with regular lees stirring, cerrtainly adds to the hazelnut and buttery-toasty aroma, with zesty citrus fruit beneath rather than anything more tropical, perhaps just a hint of mint too. In the mouth a lovely generous style, weighty texture, keen a fresh citrus and crisp apple fruit and acid, but a more ripe peachiness almost teasing on the mid-palate. Very stylish and a nice counterpoint to the Stellenbosch wine.
(2021) Elgin is not regarded as a natural home for Cabernet Sauvignon, in theory its cooler climate suiting earlier-ripening varieties rather more. Thelema's Cab was aged 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new, and fermented with wild yeasts. It is plummy and black cherryish on the nose, quite glossy and supple, a hint of menthol too. In the mouth there's no shortage of ripe, sweet and succulent black fruit, very smooth tannins and a good balance of cherry-skin tart acidity. Not hugely long, but easy to drink, very nicely made, and proves it can be done.
(2021) From the cool apple country of Elgin in coastal South Africa, a juicy and tropical fruit-scented Sauvignon with only the merest touch of grassiness or elderflower, quite Loire-like in style, though the palate does have vibrant punch and a line of acidity that does make it vibrant and quite intense on the palate
(2021) The fruit for this wine is sourced from Elgin, the cool region that is arguably the Cape's prime Sauvignon country. It's certainly punchy, passion fruity and tropical on the nose, with an oily suggestion of green bean too. In the mouth a really very quaffable style, the lychee and mango tropicality giving lots of mouth-filling flavour, and the zesty lime of the acidity pushing through in the finish. Good value.
(2019) 100% Riesling from Elgin, trained up a single pole as is common in Mosel and other parts of Germany. Beautifully clear and expressively Riesling, the florals and crunchy apple, the palate dry and mineral, but a lovely refinement. Sweet and concentrated fruit, that streaking pithy lemon acidity. Lovely wine.
(2019) Named in honour of the Roman emperor responsible for introducing Viognier to the Rhône Vally apparently, this is a golden-coloured wine, fermented and aged in small barrels (a proportion new). It has biscuit-touched aromas, a slightly bigger style than the Rose Quartz, but not without elegance, smoky and spicy, but a lovely full and succulent mid-palate, loads of sweet fruit and creaminess. Not in the UK at time of review.
(2019) Sourced from the Elgin Valley, this wine is aged in old oak barrels for seven months. Lovely Viognier perfume here, peach, apricot and gently smoky. Full palate, lowish acidity, excellent spice, a lovely clarity here on the white peach spectrum. Not in the UK at time of review.
(2019) 25-year-old bush vines here, and the blend is 40% unoaked, the rest was aged in large French barrels. Lovely colour again, aromas slightly meatier, coffee-touched, but that exotic spice and floral perfume does come through. A richer, sweeter, more rounded fruit character than the Naudé Cinsault tasted alongside, but once again the acid is glorious, spices and bright red fruits into the finish.