Is there anybody to touch Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards when it comes to wine quality right now? Admittedly, they benefit from the pioneering work of Eben Sadie and viticulturist Rosa Kruger when it comes to conserving our best old vineyards and they don’t make very much of their top cuvées but what is available is stupendously good.
Chris says that 2014 was challenging and needed a lot of work but describes the results as very rewarding. All wines below due for release in July.
Total production: 22 700 bottles
89% Chenin Blanc, 11% Semillon. Lime, peach, yellow earth and a heady, end-of-summer floral note. Sumptuous fruit – this vintage has a real generosity about it without being at all too ripe. Starts big but comes thrillingly to a point – there’s driving acidity and the finish is long and savoury. Shows a real confidence about it.
Radio Lazarus 2014
Total production: 1 700 bottles.
100% Chenin Blanc from a vineyard planted in 1978 on Goede Hoop in Bottelary, Stellenbosch. An exquisite nose with top notes of fynbos and potpourri followed by pear, peach and lime. The palate shows startling fruit concentration plus snappy but wonderfully coated acidity while the finish is long and pithy. Possesses wonderful balance and moves really well in the mouth – utterly seamless.
Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2014
Total production: 1 400 bottles
100% Chenin Blanc from a vineyard plated in the early 1980s on the Skurfberg. An ethereal nose of lime, lemon, pear and peach plus a little mushroom. Mind-blowing fruit purity and arresting acidity – it manages to convey both the essence of the variety AND a sense of place. The finish meanwhile is extraordinarily long. Intense but not weighty, vital and refined, this is a beautiful wine.