Alheit Vineyards

Tim James for WineMag on our early vintages, 2018

One can’t drink Radio Lazarus now without a poignant sense of loss, knowing that this year no wine could be made from the Bottelary vineyard, nor will it be made again….and what a loss to South African wine that is! This became even clearer to me this week, when I broached my case of Radio Lazarus 2012, and shared a bottle of it over dinner with Michael Fridjhon. We had no trouble agreeing that it was drinking superbly….A few nights earlier I’d drunk the Cartology 2012, which is also an excellent wine that has developed well, even if it’s a touch less thrillingly poised, less expressively specific, than Radio Lazarus. But thrilling and expressively specific would be words I’d want to use again for Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2013, from high-lying, ungrafted chenin vines in the area colloquially known as Skurfberg. I can still remember – the wine reminds me – how the hairs on my arm stood up when I first tried it four years ago, so electrifying, so different.