Alheit Vineyards new releases

By , 10 July 2020



Chris Alheit describes 2019 as “a wonderfully abundant vintage” with most sites providing improved yields. It should be noted however that there is no La Colline, the wine made from Franschhoek Semillon, as he felt it was not quite up to the same standard of previous vintages.

There is also a label change, Fire by Night becoming Broom Ridge – the Alheits acquired Swartland property Nuwedam from the Chevallerie family during the course of last year and have renamed it Besemgoedkop – Nuwedam always used to supply the grapes for Fire by Night and the resulting wine now bears the name Broom Ridge, this being a rough English translation of Besemgoedkop.

Tasting notes and ratings for the new releases:

Cartology 2019
Approximate retail price: R360
90% Chenin Blanc, 10% Semillon. The “flagbearer” of the range and what a super-sexy wine it is in 2019! The nose shows citrus, apple, peach and hay to go with some flinty reduction and a little waxiness. The palate has great fruit density, punchy acidity playing off against a slightly oily texture while the finish is long and pithy. Properly complex (La Colline had to go somewhere…).

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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New and improved.

Broom Ridge 2019
Approximate retail price: R480
From Chenin Blanc vineyards planted between 1972 and 1985. The nose shows a quite particular thatchy note as well as some potpourri before pear, white peach and lime. The palate is lean and energetic with a super-dry finish. Rather severe at this point but will no doubt unfurl into something rather beautiful in time.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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Nautical Dawn 2019
Approximate retail price: R415
From a 1978 vineyard on the Sinai Hill in the Firgrove area of Stellenbosch. A pretty nose of flowers, talcum powder, white peach and citrus. The palate has great fruit definition and crisp acidity before a slightly bitter finish. This has a lovely clarity about it – pure, balanced and wonderfully sleek.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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Huilkrans 2019
Approximate retail price: R720
From Skurfberg Chenin Blanc. A striking nose of citrus, peach, dried herbs and baking spice plus a rather funky waxiness. With great depth of fruit and vibrant acidity, this is altogether more powerful and showy than other recent vintages. It’s still extraordinarily complex and long, however.

CE’s rating: 95/100.

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Magnetic North 2019
Approximate retail price: R720
From ungrafted Skurfberg Chenin Blanc. Compelling aromatics of pear, peach and grapefruit with both some smoky reduction and hay in the background. The palate, as ever, is just wonderfully pure, harmonious and long. It’s a little higher in alcohol and residual sugar than usual but this serves only to give the wine extra presence. Has a real completeness about it.

CE’s rating: 97/100.

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Hemelrand Vine Garden 2019
Approximate retail price: R320
42% Roussanne, 22% Chardonnay, 16% Chenin Blanc, 16% Verdelho and 4% Muscat. An exotic and enticing nose with pronounced notes of honeysuckle and dried herbs before pear, peach and spice plus a hint of reduction. The palate shows pure, clean fruit to go with lemon-like acidity and a dry finish. Seamlessly assembled.

CE’s rating: 93/100.

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Lost & Found 2019
Price: R950/375ml bottle
A straw wine from a Breedekloof vineyard of Hanepoot planted in the late 1800s, thought to be the oldest producing vineyard in the country. A fabulously complex nose showing top notes of barley sugar, straw, mint, dried herbs and potpourri before preserved orange, dried apricot and caramel. The palate is inevitably viscous in texture but there’s also riveting acidity and the finish is dry. Profoundly good.

CE’s rating: 98/100.

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These wines are available for pre-order from Johannesburg boutique wine retailer Dry Dock Liquor – click here.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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3 comment(s)

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    Joe | 11 July 2020

    Hello Christian, did you also taste the Wine Dark Sea?

      Christian Eedes | 12 July 2020

      Hi Joe, I was lucky to drink it for pleasure some time ago and thought it was very good. I shall endeavour to get hold of another bottle in order to provide you with a more formal tasting note. For those not in the know, it is a 2017 red blend from Cab, Cinsault and Syrah “made in remembrance of mid-century Cape reds”.

    David Clarke | 10 July 2020

    98? Pathetic. Don’t you drink enough straw wines, Christian? 🙂

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