Thelema Shiraz 2004

By , 2 April 2012



Ever reliable.

Fascinating to read in the Sunday Times that according to research group Nielsen total advertising spend in South Africa jumped 11% to R32.1 billion in 2011 with liquor company Distell coming in as ninth biggest overall behind Standard Bank and ahead of FNB. Most of the liquor company’s marketing spend would’ve been spent on its non-wine brands like Amarula and its various apple-based RTDs, but the likes of Nederburg and Two Oceans would no doubt have benefited to some extent.

A brand which keeps a much lower profile is Thelema, the Stellenbosch property owned by the Webb family. Rather than massive ad spend, it has largely relied on making consistently excellent wine ever since the late-1980s to maintain its reputation. When it comes to reds, most will associate it with Cabernet Sauvignon or perhaps Merlot but it also produces a fine Shiraz, the 2007 vintage winning not only best in category but also best red wine overall at last year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show.

The 2004 vintage, meanwhile, was the red wine served to guests after my marriage to the lovely Jane Ferreira in February 2008. Yesterday I opened one of the few remaining bottles to see how it was maturing and it looked quite smart although now probably on some kind of plateau of its development. Still some red and black fruit but more spice and meat. It had all the mellowness of aged wine and worked well with salmon grilled in the oven. Score: 16/20.


7 comment(s)

  • Rubão11 January 2013

    Thank you, Smirrie!

  • Smirrie10 January 2013

    The thelema in my opinion will be fine to drink now. The paul sauer i would think needs at least another 5 years. Lets hear what the other guru’s say.

  • Rubão10 January 2013

    Same question on the Paul Sauer ’09: How long should I keep it?
    I’ve noticed that the PS ’09 scored 16/20 in your CWG tasting. Could it possibly get better with time?

  • Rubão10 January 2013

    I have a bottle of Thema Shiraz from 2007. It’s been difficult for me to keep it the cellar…Is it to young to drink now? How many years do you think I should wait before opening it up?

  • thomas webb17 April 2012

    Glad to hear that the Shiraz 2004 is still being enjoyed. The 2008 and 2009 (for release 1 Sept 2012) are both looking great at the moment. Still young vines; watch this space!

  • Christian2 April 2012

    Hi Shane, You could easily convince me that the Thelema deserves to score a bit higher. It’s at a point where you don’t have to work terribly hard to enjoy it and that’s no shortcoming.

  • Shane Gordon2 April 2012

    Had a bottle of the Thelema Shiraz 2004 with dinner on Saturday night. Showed outstandingly well with plush dark berry fruit beautifully balanced with silky tannins and just a hint of well integrated oak with subtle spice adding interest. Lovely wine. Showed really well in a flight which included a lovely Vriesenhof Kallista 2003, Bouchard Finlaysons “The Hannibal 1997”; Buitenverwachting’s S/B 2011 and Groot Constantia’s S/B 2010. All very well made wines. Thelema worth 16+ in my book.

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