From the great 2015 vintage, come the most exciting young wines we have tasted this year. In its first release, the 2011 Cartology from Alheit Vineyards took the world by storm. The 2015 Cartology, their best yet, continues on its upward curve in quality.
This is a wine crafted to express terroir by focusing on heritage grape varieties from across the Cape wine map. The Cartology 2015 celebrates the Cape’s winemaking history and heritage by focusing on Chenin Blanc, vinified from different vineyards including Skurfberg, Paardeberg, Bot River and Stellenbosch, as well as old vine Semillon from Franschhoek. The vineyards are key to this finely honed blend and in 2015 it is a confident and masterly example of the quintessential Cape white blend.
The 2015, a blend of 86% Chenin Blanc and 14% Semillon, is lively on the nose, yet reticent at the same time. It needs some time to evolve and express its floral and earthy aromas that lead to a sophisticated palate – it is complex and textured with a fine, long finish. This is one for the cellar and for those wanting to discover the South African white wine landscape. Drink 2017 – 2022.
The single vineyard wines sell out in a flash every year. Should you want to be added to next year’s allocation list, please let us know by sending an email to James@winecellar.co.za.
Alheit Vineyards, Cartology 2015 – R 295
86% Chenin Blanc, 14% Semillon. A compelling nose – pear, citrus and white peach but also dried herbs, thatch, yellow earth and a subtle waxy note. Relatively rich on the palate but very flavourful and entirely seamless – grapes are drawn from from mainly Paardeberg and Skurfberg but also Bot River and Stellenbosch as well as Franschhoek in the case of the Semillon and there’s a sense that Alheit grows ever more expert at how to meld the different components. Great fruit concentration, coated acidity and a nice pithy quality to the finish. – Christian Eedes, 94/100
Alheit Vineyards, Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2015 – R 600
From a Skurfberg vineyard planted in the early 1980s. Pear and white peach as well as dried herbs, a little marzipan, spice and some yeasty complexity. This is a wine of reined-in power – great flavour intensity yet totally composed, it unfurls for ages in the mouth. So very accomplished. – Christian Eedes, 96/100
Alheit Vineyards, Radio Lazarus 2015 – R 600
From two Bottelary vineyards of Chenin Blanc: the first planted on Goede Hoop in 1978 and the second on Sterhuis in 1970. Very aromatic with notes of lime, lemon, green apple and a little gravel-road dustiness. Extraordinary fruit purity and lip-smacking acidity – this wine is very finely honed and wonderfully direct to drink. – Christian Eedes, 96/100
Alheit Vineyards, La Colline 2015 – R 540
Previously bottled as Arrow Heart, this is from a Franschhoek vineyard of Semillon and Semillon Gris planted in in 1936. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, there is a definite cloudy quality to its appearance. On the nose, there is an intriguing smoking note before pear, white peach, tangerine and spice. The palate possesses unusual presence, which is to say it displays particular depth and breadth. Unconventional but utterly compelling. – Christian Eedes, 96/100
Alheit Vineyards, Hemelrand Vine Garden 2015 – R 235
From Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdelho grown on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge property, Hemelrand. Yellow apple, peach and apricot as well as ginger and spice. Great depth of flavour and pleasantly oily in texture. This is rich and ripe but has a properly savoury finish. – Christian Eedes, 93/100