You can only be glad for Chris and Suzie Alheit regarding the acclaim that the maiden vintage 2011 of their old vine Chenin Blanc-Semillon blend Cartology has attracted but the ratings have been so high (5 Stars in Platter’s, 96 points from Neil Martin of The Wine Advocate, etc.) that should future refinements be forthcoming, these will be difficult to accommodate via any conventional scoring system.
The 2012 was among a recent line-up of old vine wines and I think it is better than 2011, showing greater complexity, this perhaps stemming from greater understanding of the vineyards involved.
There’s yellow fruit, marzipan and an intriguing earthy note. The fruit is so concentrated that the wine is almost weighty but balance is provided by just enough acidity, the finish nicely savoury. It’s an exciting, provocative wine, but I remain quite sure that we’ll see more completely resolved versions of Cartology yet.
Radio Lazarus 2012 is another Alheit wine from a 1978 block of Chenin Blanc in Bottelary. The couple undertook to rehabilitate it mid-2010 and this is their maiden release. It shows aromas and flavours of lime, white peach and spice and is relatively thick textured with moderate acidity.