2014 Alheit Vineyards "Cartology" Chenin Blanc Western Cape

SKU #1223960 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Cartology Bush Vines is Chris Alheit's fourth release since it blazed onto the South African scene. It comes from the same vineyards as previous vintages. Chris said this is completely unfined and unfiltered with a very healthy pH. The nose has a sense of confidence about it, racing out of the blocks with orange zest, honeysuckle, jasmine and a touch of loganberry. The palate is lightly honeyed on the entry, beautifully balanced with a fine line of acidity, gently building in the mouth towards a complex, absorbing finish of lychee, white pepper and fennel. What a fantastic wine, but then again, that's were Chris Alheit has set the bar. (NM)  (12/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Rather toasted, with a pie crust note framing the core of crystallized ginger, creamed peach and nectarine flavors, all backed by a pretty verbena echo on the finish. For fans of the style. (JM, Web-2016)

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Price: $39.99

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2015 | Send Email
This illustrates the pure magic that is South African Chenin Blanc. The west coast of South Africa (Swartland and beyond) is producing some of the best Chenin (full bodied white wines) on the planet right now. Thanks to an abundance of old, often own rooted, vines growing in ancient decomposed granite and shale plus a new (but ageing!) crop of great winemakers, these wines are some of the most exciting white wines in the store. Cartology is the workhorse in Chris and Suzan Alheit's stable. Blended from multiple single vineyard sites on the west coast, Stellenbosch plus a dash of very old vine Semillon from Franschhoek, this is a timeless, unadulterated expression of the cape. Full of summer flowers, ripe orchard fruits, yellow plum, toasted barley, granite minerals and nutty lees. Round texture with lovely weight, fleshy ripe acidity and more savory lees / grainy notes on back. I love how this is weighty and rich but also so pure and vibrant. The winemakers fingerprints are conspicuous in their absence...Chris' skill is knowing how to get out of the way of incredible vineyard sites and let them do all the talking...a pure and inspiring expression of this noble grape.

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Chenin Blanc

- Also called Pineau de la Loire and Pineau d'Anjou. Chenin Blanc is an expressive white French varietal that makes beautiful dry, sweet and sparkling wines. Traditionally grown in the Loire Valley, the wines made from this varietal are typically labeled geographically. Vouvray Chenins are traditionally medium-sweet; Savennières Chenins are typically bright and crisp; Coteaux du Layon Chenins like Bonezeaux and Quarts de Chaume are among the world's most sought-after sweet wines, and the sparkling Chenins of Saumur are perfumed and delicious. What all of these iterations of the grape have in common is their ability to age, a gift bestowed upon them because of the grape's naturally high-acidity.

South Africa

- Now that it has adopted a multi-racial attitude, and now that the world has embraced its government and its exports, South Africa has become a major wine producer. Unfortunately, South Africa has had a difficult time joining the ranks of competitive winemaking countries. During the anti-apartheid sanctions in the 1980s, South African wine was dealt the huge blow when it was removed from the international market, and for political reasons it was quite difficult for wine producers to market wine to the black majority. Things are finally looking up for the wine industry here, and quality has never been higher. South Africa produces a grape cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault, called Pinotage, which is the country's unique varietal. Chenin Blanc (known as Steen) makes up one-third of its vines. Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are becoming increasingly popular as are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Click for a list of bestselling items from South Africa.