The 2016 vintage might have a reputation for being having been challenging on account of the hot and dry conditions which prevailed but Chris Alheit of Alheit Vineyards has handled it with aplomb. Tasting notes and ratings for these soon-to-be-released wines as follows:
89% Chenin Blanc sourced variously from Perdeberg, Skurfberg and Stellenbosch and 11% Franschhoek Semillon. Some reduction before subtle notes of lime, naartjie and white peach, talcum powder and dried herbs. Lovely fruit definition – fantastic shape in the mouth with great side and back palate. The acidity, meanwhile, is suitably fresh and the finish long and pithy.
Editor’s rating; 94/100.
Radio Lazarus 2016
From Bottelary Chenin Blanc vinified in clay pots. A shy but intriguing nose with a herbal top note before lime, naartjie and white peach. The palate is severe in the best sense, the finish extremely long and savoury. It tantalises rather than seduces.
Editor’s rating: 95/100.
Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2016
From Skurfberg Chenin Blanc. Very expressive on the nose with notes of citrus, stone fruit, marzipan, earth and spice. Succulent fruit makes for coated acidity before a gently savoury finish. Wonderfully balanced, this is compelling stuff.
Editor’s rating; 96/100.
La Colline 2016
From a Franschhoek vineyard of Semillon and Semillon Gris. On the nose, there’s a note of orange blossom before citrus, yellow apple, peach, dried herbs and hay – lots going on but equally nothing too heady or exaggerated. The palate meanwhile shows extraordinary fruit concentration and great length. Intense without being weighty, it comes across as just about perfectly realised. Profoundly good.
Editor’s rating: 97/100.
Hemelrand Vine Garden 2016
From 41% Roussanne, 28% Chardonnay, 19% Chenin Blanc, 9% Verdelho and 3% Muscat. An almost intoxicating nose of flowers, citrus, peach and apple through more tropical fruit including lychee and pineapple. Plenty of upfront fruit on the palate offset by fresh acidity. Sexy but not possessing quite the same gravitas as the rest of the portfolio.
Editor’s rating: 91/100.
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