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Thelema Sutherland Chardonnay 2007

Chardonnay from South Africa
  • WS90
13.5% ABV
  • WS88
  • WE88
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3.2 4 Ratings
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3.2 4 Ratings
13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Located in Elgin, a cool coastal region quickly gaining a reputation for complex, minerally whites, the Sutherland property is owned and farmed by the heralded Thelema Mountain Vineyards. This is Sutherland's maiden Chardonnay release, and the bright, vibrant bottling combines fresh citrus and stone fruit flavors with a well-integrated toasty oak component. It shows surprising complexity for such a young wine and should age gracefully over the next several years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Really precise, with a long, racy palate of grilled hazelnut, honeysuckle, yellow apple and mineral notes, followed by a bright, elegant finish. Nicely done. Drink now through 2010. 500 cases imported.
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Thelema

Thelema

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Thelema, , South Africa
Thelema
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.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

PIN242901_2007 Item# 103406

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