In Review

Wine of the week: a Rabelaisian delight

This South African red is one of the most elegant and luxurious wines of the year

2017 Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Rabelais, Stellenbosch, South Africa

This snippet of history from the Thelema website sets the scene for this truly magnificent wine. Here is an edited quote: “François Rabelais was a monk, doctor and writer (about wine among other subjects) in 16th-century France. He imagined a utopian abbey on the banks of the Loire, which admitted both men and women, encouraging them to live together in great luxury. Only one law governed its members: ‘Fay ce que vouldras’ – Do what thou wilt! This was, of course, the Abbey of Thélème.”

This was the inspiration for Gyles Webb’s estate on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, which he acquired back in 1983. Rabelais is the name of the top wine here and Gyles’s son Thomas sent me a bottle of this 2017 to taste a few weeks ago. It completely blew my mind. A highly sophisticated cabernet sauvignon/petit verdot blend, this is the most complex, controlled and intriguing cabernet blend I have tasted from the Cape. 

2017 Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Rabelais, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Layered and ultra-fine, this is a far cry from the powerhouse reds that usually hog the headlines. Even though it spends 20 months in 100% new French barriques, this is one of the most elegant and luxurious wines of the year. I have timed this article to coincide with its arrival from South Africa, so readers get the steal on everyone else. As Rabelais said, “If the skies fall, one may hope to catch larks”. The sky seems to have been falling all year and this wine is a rare bird indeed.

2017 Thelema Mountain Vineyards, Rabelais, Stellenbosch, South Africa£55, greatwine.co.uk, goedhuis.com

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)

This article was originally published in MoneyWeek 

 

Recommended

World Pasta Day: delicious and simple pasta recipes
Various pastas
On the menu

World Pasta Day: delicious and simple pasta recipes

Cocktail recipes for Halloween parties
Violets Kill cocktail by Cut Spiced Rum
On the menu

Cocktail recipes for Halloween parties

Delicious pumpkin recipes for Halloween
Kricket’s Delica pumpkin with Mahkani sauce
On the menu

Delicious pumpkin recipes for Halloween

Recipe: Karikari okoge no yakimeshi
Karikari okoge no yakimeshi (fried rice with crispy bits) recipe from Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson
On the menu

Recipe: Karikari okoge no yakimeshi

Popular articles

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

What is blackfishing?
Shot of Jesy Nelson with her hair in braids
In Depth

What is blackfishing?

Why does the UK have highest Covid case rate in western Europe?
England lockdown lifted
Today’s big question

Why does the UK have highest Covid case rate in western Europe?

The Week Footer Banner