Alheit Vineyards

Neal Martin for Wine Advocate on Cartology 2011

The maiden 2011 Cartology Bush Vines is a blend of 92% Chenin Blanc and 8% Semillon from vines between 320m and 540m in altitude from Perdeberg, Citrusdal Mountains, Kasteelberg and Bottelary Hills, while the Semillon is from Franschhoek. It has a heavenly bouquet that blossoms from first opening: quince, wild honey, melted candle wax, a touch of almond developing with time and lemon curd. It offers brilliant delineation and gains complexity with time in the glass. The palate is succinctly balanced, fresh as a daisy, brimming with energy from its potent attack to its perfectly focused, mineral-laden finish. I confess? I aimed to see how the sample bottle unfurled over dinner, but somehow the wine “evaporated” by starters. Chris is already picking up accolades, all of them deserved. Please add mine to them.

So, you want a headline? a snappy eye-catching shelf-talker? Here’s one. “Chris and Suzaan Alheit have made South Africa’s greatest debut Chenin Blanc.”