The Every Day Wine, Thelema Sauvignon Blanc 2015

If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out what works for you. You might not figure out how to put across your own tasting notes, or use the verbose vocabulary that is synonymous with ‘wine speak’, but you will be able to confidently look at a wine list and order something that is to your desire when in a restaurant. You can also pick a bottle from a Retailer’s shelves, where the wine on offer is a large overwhelming choice. Introducing, the Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Vintage.

So much wine, so little time

I bought a bottle at Pick n Pay last week and it cost me R79-00. I felt that the first blog post be a wine that is reachable, in both price and retail outlets, as an introduction to our journey of wine. While I knocked classification in my blog last week, what I will do when I remember the price, is create a category by price range. Price is not a predictor of the quality of the wine, but if we play in three clearly defined categories, it will make your experience all that more interesting.


  • Category C will be wines between R60-00 and R100-00
  • Category B will be wines between R100-00 and R200-00
  • Category A will be wines above R200-00
When pouring wine, it’s not about filling to the brim

I want you to be the judge, as you taste the difference between a ‘Category C’ and ‘Category B’ wine. Then look at the difference between a ‘Category B’ wine and ‘Category A’ wine. Rands and cents obviously make up part of the difference , but for me, ‘Category B’ to ‘Category A’ has a less incremental growth in experience versus the  jump in Rand spend, while ‘Category C’ to ‘Category B’ has very noticeable increases in marginal return more often than not. Don’t under estimate the power and cost of marketing, so be aware on the price point. Our weakness, as human beings, is to believe that just because something is more expensive, it is better.

The Thelema Sauvignon Blanc is therefore a ‘Category C’ wine on the above basis. Thelema is a wine farm I’ve yet to visit. I have been for lunch on a neighbouring wine farm on the Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, Delaire Graff. The Thelema Estate is by no means a ‘Category C’ wine farm! I had the pleasure of drinking Thelema Estate Wines, as well as their sister estate Sutherland at The Chef’s Table with Franck Dangereux. The Sauvignon Blanc was not part of the pairing on the day, and I remember the winemaker, Rudi Schultz, making a particular point to highlight how he was ‘offended’ by the wine not cracking the nod for the grand stage of food and wine pairing.

To pick up on colour, look at your wine on a white backdrop (even a white piece of paper)

It was a hot summer’s day in Joburg when I cracked this bottle open. The colour of the wine surprised me as it was not the typical pale Sauvignon Blanc. It had a decent tint of yellow in the colour (Or hue if you really want to start learning for your wine vocabulary). I guess it had the benefit of aging, as white wine colour becomes more intense as it ages, while red wine colour loses its intensity as it ages.

Smell the wine, take a gentle sip, and taste it, don’t just swallow

On sipping the wine, I detected a bit of sourness, and it was quite zesty. I thought lemons, even though there were fruity undertones when I had put the wine in the glass to my nose before sipping. Sauvignon Blanc can either be very grassy in taste, which to me is an acidity I don’t appreciate, or tropical fruit which I prefer. This Thelema Sauvignon Blanc was fresh and crisp, sensations I enjoyed in my mouth, and I enjoyed the citrus notes in my mouth.  Most Sauvignon Blancs you will find on store shelves today will be a 2016 vintage, so this 2015 was quite a find at that price. As I am writing I am wondering if I should not be going back to Pick n Pay to get some more of that vintage.

South Africa is small in wine production and exports, but you will battle to drink them all

Every region produces a different type of Sauvignon Blanc, and South Africa is fourth after France, New Zealand and Chile in terms of acres of this wine in production. The Thelema Sauvignon Blanc 2015 is fermented in steel tanks, and has not been in wood in any part of the process of getting it into a bottle. At 13% alcohol, it is medium in alcohol content for a wine, if you work on a scale of below 10% being low in alcohol and above 15% being high. A lovely, light bodied dry wine, it is an ideal starting point if you don’t like a heavy white wine.It’s definitely one you can quaff, after a hard day’s work, as an ‘every day wine’.


Try it out, if you haven’t, and I would love for you to share your views. Next week we will go with a Chardonnay, but I will warn you in advance that I do have a bias towards this grape…

Thank you Jordan for all the photography, and thank you for stopping by and reading my blog.

Author: fit4thabo

I'm a Banker by profession, and ubiquitous on social media. Sometimes, it is as if my brain has a mind of its own. Full of life, and love my family, my work, sports, food, whisky and wine.

16 thoughts on “The Every Day Wine, Thelema Sauvignon Blanc 2015”

  1. Short and sweet blog, straight to the point. Will try out the wine once my alcohol break is over. I’ve always thought that the higher the price the better the quality. Really love the fact that you went for an affordable wine that anyone could easily buy and try out and not some exclusive of very expensive one.I will start playing around in category B, the tricky part is that in restaurants category C can be made category B or even A in terms of price. Another thing I’m going to start doing is tasting the wine and not just swallowing, that was a good point, and I guess it’s one of the reasons why people don’t know what they like when it comes to wine, we don’t take time to enjoy and analyze the taste. It will be interesting if you could add the “health” element in one of your blogs for people who are trying not to consume too much calories from wine.

    1. It’s definitely one of the better finds in Category C Zandi. You’re right about the price in restaurants. That’s why it’s worth your while to buy your Category B or Category A wine and pay corkage. Just be sure to check how much corkage is as if it is R80 or more that’s a rip off, bug probably still better to have a wine you like than pay R250 plus for a Category C wine.

  2. My favorite grape and one of the few I partake in! But I look forward to hearing more about others so I can perhaps broaden my wine knowledge and tastes!

    1. Sarah, it’s definitely the popular grape, and it baffles me. Clear evidence as to how all our tastes are different with wine, as I personally like the more full body wines, which others find heavy

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