Alheit Cartology 2017  Front Label
Alheit Cartology 2017  Front LabelAlheit Cartology 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Alheit Cartology 2017

  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE90
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • RP93
  • WS92
  • RP94
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Chenin comes from parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Bottelary, and False Bay. The Semillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.The nose shows lemon peel, fennel, spearmint, ripe apple and pear, perhaps a touch of honey. The palate is very vibrant and fine, with ample texture and weight. The finish is long and refreshing.

Blend: 87% Chenin Blanc, 13% Semillon

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2017 Cartology Bush Vines represents all that is good about Chenin Blanc from South Africa. With so many different styles existing in South Africa today, the Catrology has a focused and refined nose with a weight on the mid-palate that can be felt by the drinker. This wine is both precise and elegant. Just by feeling the wine on the palate, you begin to sense the love and attention this wine received during its élevage. Muskmelon, creamy peach yogurt and Meyer lemon glide over the palate and will make you do a double take. Sensations of light beeswax and dusty citrus blossoms follow the fruit onto the finish. The wine is full-bodied with a full-structured finish that lingers long. This is going into my cellar, and I recommend that you grab a bottle for yourself.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Mouthfilling, but still a bit tight, featuring cardamom details flirting with yellow apple and honeysuckle notes. Very nuanced, with electric acidity and savory minerality that give this energy and focus. The mouthwatering finish is marked by details of quinine and verbena. Should develop nicely. Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. Best from 2021 through 2027.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
At first, this is shy and reserved on the nose, with faint scents of white melon, lemon pith, honeysuckle and orange blossom. The palate offers a bit more expression, with ginger-orange tea, fresh hay and melon rind flavors that are braced up by tart, orange-laced acidity that invigorates the palate and carries through to the close. Best after 2021.
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Alheit

Alheit

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Alheit, South Africa
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Chris & Suzaan Alheit are a husband and wife team. They have traveled and worked harvest together in California’s Napa Valley, Western Australia, St Emilion, the Clare Valley & the Mosel River. Their love for adventure overseas has led them to New Zealand, Languedoc, Rousillon, Provence, the Northern & Southern Rhone & the Cyclades in Greece. They have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the great wines of Europe, a place they consider to be the heartland of truly fine wine. They strive, in their winemaking, to apply lessons learnt in Europe to what they do in the Cape. Alheit is based on Hemelrand, a beautiful mountain farm situated high on the Hemel & Aarde Ridge in Walker Bay. This rugged piece of fynbos covered land belongs to Hans & Mary Anne Evenhuis. Complete with stone buildings, Hemelrand is planted to an olive grove, lavender fields and a very exciting young vineyard. The Alheit’s aim is to make wines that have a fine form and are not bulky. The result is finely crafted wines that have ample power, but no excess weight – something akin to a gymnast, rather than a sumo wrestle. The Alheit’s are absolute minimalist in their winemaking approach. Grapes are whole bunch pressed. No enzymes, sulphur or yeast are used. The grapes undergo natural fermentation in old barrels with absolutely no new oak used. The first sulphur is applied in winter. The wines are not racked and they stay on the lees for ten months. They do not fine and filtration is used only if absolutely needed. The wine is held for seven months prior to release.
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With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

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With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

EPC53448_2017 Item# 625341

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