Alheit Vineyards Huilkrans vs Magnetic North 2018

By , 13 August 2019



Great growths.

Chris Alheit of Alheit Vineyards declares that though the drought-affected 2018 vintage made deciding when to harvest difficult, he feels he and the growers he works with responded well and got the fruit off in good time. “We didn’t miss any picks and I’m really pleased with the resulting wines.” He should be.

Fire By Night 2018
Price: R445
From a 1978 Chenin Blanc vineyard on the Paardeberg in the Swartland. Citrus, white peach, apple and straw on the nose. Very good fruit expression on the palate – impressive volume and density for a wine with an alcohol of just 12.8%. The acidity, though suitably snappy, is nicely coated – this is a very well balanced wine – and the finish is long and savoury.

Editor’s rating: 95/100.

Nautical Dawn 2018
Price: R365
90% from a 1978 Chenin Blanc vineyard on the False Bay Coast of Stellenbosch and 10% from a new Polkadraai vineyard. Stone fruit, apple and some yellow earth on the nose. Relatively rich and broad on the palate – there’s a slight sense of sweet ‘n sour here with generous fruit matched by tangy acidity. Very flavourful with a gently savoury finish.

Editor’s rating: 93/100.

Huilkrans 2018
Price: R640
From Skurfberg Chenin Blanc. Attention-grabbing aromatics with top notes of flowers and dried grass before citrus, stone fruit and apple. Stunning fruit concentration matched by punchy acidity on the palate. This is a hugely expressive wine with extraordinary length – just about complete.

Editor’s rating: 98/100.

Magnetic North 2018
Price: R650
From ungrafted Skurfberg Chenin Blanc. A subtle nose displaying a hint of reduction before pear, white peach and lime with a slight herbal note in the background. The palate is lean and linear with a lovely line of acidity and a pithy finish. There’s no shortage of fruit density here but currently the wine appears very tightly wound and should mature with great benefit. The Yin to the Yang that is Huilkrans.

Editor’s rating: 98/100.

La Colline 2018
Price: R615
From Franschhoek Semillon. As ever, some reduction before white peach, naartjie, red apple and a hint of waxiness on the nose. A bit of a brute on the palate – dense, full and very flavourful with a slight bitter quality to the finish. Lots going on but perhaps slightly less refinement that previous vintages.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

Hemelrand Vine Garden 2018
Price: R275
31% Roussanne, 20% Chenin Blanc, 29% Chardonnay, 7% Verdelho and 3% Muscat. An exotic nose showing pelargonium and honeysuckle as well as quince, stone fruit, melon and pineapple. The palate is rich and flavourful with zippy acidity and a savoury finish. Dead sexy.

Editor’s rating: 94/100.

Cartology 2018 previously rated 93/100 (see here) and Flight of the Jackass Cinsault 2018 90/100 (see here).

Find our South African wine ratings database here.


1 comment(s)

  • Jaco van Zyl13 August 2019

    A stunning release. I was privileged to taste through the whole range of 2018’s recently with Chris, and I was on cloud nine the whole afternoon after the tasting. Honestly, the consistent quality of this range, year on year despite vintage variation, is remarkable.

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