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Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa
  • WE91
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • WS91
  • W&S91
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • WS92
  • WE90
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5.0 2 Ratings
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Winemaker Notes

This age-worthy Cabernet from the heralded Thelema estate is a benchmark South African bottling with an impressive track record. Sleek and stylish, this wine abounds with alluring flavors of blackberry and blackcurrant intertwined with complex notes of coffee, cedar, tobacco and eucalyptus.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

There's a prominent herbal streak to the nose of this wine, but it's not jarring thanks to the suport of rich black cherry and black currant fruit core. The savory herbs, menthol and licorice herbaceousness continues through to the palate, where again it's matched by equally intense dark fruit flavors and a mouthwatering finish. Silky wood-spice accents the long finish. Drink now - 2014.

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

In complete contrast, I feel that Thelema is far more adept with that other noble Bordeaux variety. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 18 months in 45% new oak and has a very succinct nose of ripe red berries, wild hedgerow and a touch of cedar all with very fine definition. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, supple tannins. It has good acidity and a lovely caressing, ironically Saint Emilion-like finish. This is a superb Cabernet Sauvignon drinking beautifully now. Drink now-2016.

WS 90
Wine Spectator

A supple, old-school style, with an alluring mint note leading the way for mulled plum, fig and spice notes, followed by a suave cocoa powder hint on the finish. Stylish, but has the stuffing to age nicely. Drink now through 2014. 400 cases imported.

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Thelema, , South Africa
In 1983, Gyles Webb and his wife's family purchased a run-down fruit farm at the top of the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, where they established Thelema Mountain Vineyards. At a time when the South African wine scene was focused on quantity rather than quality, Webb was a trailblazing pioneer on a mission to craft world-class wines. Construction began on the winery in 1987, and Thelema produced its first vintage in 1988. Situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg, Thelema occupies mainly south-facing aspects that afford spectacular views of the Simonsberg, Drankenstein and Jonkershoek mountains. Elevations ranging from 370 to 640 meters above sea-level make the 157-hectare estate one of the coolest and highest wine farms in Stellenbosch.


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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide. Well-drained limestone chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit, and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body, and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

CNC549725_2008 Item# 110816

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