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Thelema Sutherland Rhine Riesling 2009

Hope yet remains.
Hope yet remains.

At the end of 2013, there were a total of 168.36ha of Riesling planted in South Africa which put it just ahead of Gewurztraminer but behind Roobernet. There are local producers that hope to emulate the great wines of the Mosel in Germany but typically come up somewhat short.

The Sutherland Rhine Riesling 2009 from the Elgin property farmed by Thelema was opened without great expectations but proved rather good drinking. Lime, a subtle petrol note and some not unpleasant reduction. Clean and fresh, not exactly riveting like great Mosel can be but perfectly respectable. The residual sugar of 12.8g/l wasn’t noticeable and the wine ended nicely dry (12.09% abv, TA 6.6g/l and pH 3.26). Remarkably youthful given that it was five years on from vintage. It poses the question: how much of those 168.36ha are in Elgin?

Score: 87/100.


  1. Hi Christian, I believe there are (according to 2012 stats) about 27.5 hectares of Riesling planted in the Elgin Valley – about 16% of SA plantings. I am sure with the success of the variety in the valley more will be planted in future years. Regards James.


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