2012 Alheit Vineyards "Cartology" Chenin Blanc Western Cape
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
92+ The sophomore 2012 Cartology Bush Vines took 10 to 15 minutes to really open. The bottom line is that it is not as immediate as the debut, its disposition a little taciturn with tightly wound dried pineapple, yellow flower and spice aromas unfolding but demurring moving into fifth gear. The palate is well-balanced with a creamy textured opening and it builds very subtly offering popcorn, brioche, custard creme and citrus fruit but in much more subtle, understated fashion compared to the 2011 that sprinted out of the blocks. I would actually allow this wine two or three years in bottle to demonstrate what it is capable of. Drink 2015-2023.
From the Winemakers: "Our guiding philosophy is that fine wine is 99% Vineyard and 1% Cellar. Cartology (meaning the study of maps) is a vinous exploration of Cape heritage. It is intended to be a picture of the Cape, seen through the lens of her mature vineyards, in a given vintage. Therefore, this cuveé is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bushvines. Naturally, the varieties used are also heritage varieties, namely Chenin blanc and Semillon, that have been planted in the Cape for centuries. The 2012 is composed of 35% Skurfberg (Citrusdal Mountain), 31% Perdeberg 15% Kasteelberg, 5% Bottelary Hills (all Chenin blanc) 14% Franschhoek (very old Semillon vineyard). The nose is a complex, both earthy and bright, showing lemon peel, ripe stone fruits and ripe apple. The palate is taught and slightly saline, with very good concentration and depth. The wine has a fine form, without excess bulk. Finish is very long, with a noticeable interplay of saline/sweet/tart elements.