Chris Alheit of Alheit Vineyards says of his newly released Cartology 2013 that it is the most “civilised and grown up” vintage he and wife Suzaan have made to date and for me it is indeed the most convincing incarnation yet.
Seven vineyards involved – Chenin Blanc from Bottelary in Stellenbosch, Perdeberg and Skurfberg near Citrusdal plus Semillon from Franschhoek. Matured for nine months in old oak. White and yellow peach, honey, fennel and wet clay – all very subtle. Great depth of flavour and a lovely line of acidity. Intellectual without being geeky or weird for weird’s sake.
Alheit refers to Cartology as “a starting point” from which to discover their single vineyard wines. Radio Lazarus 2012 from Bottelary grapes caused a stir on its release last year but Alheit decided not to bottle it in 2013 as he felt he picked too late and it is instead became a component of Cartology. Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2013 joins the range, however, and it’s a breathtakingly beautiful wine.
Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2013
From ungrafted Chenin Blanc vines on the Skurfberg. Matured for nine months in old oak. Notes of dried peach, fynbos and honey but really descriptors are irrelevant – it’s one of those wines that overwhelms the senses. Awesome concentration and scintillating acidity, it has extraordinary presence on the palate without sacrificing grace. Goose-bumps inducing. Only 816 bottles made.