2015 Alheit Vineyards "Cartology" Chenin Blanc Western Cape

SKU #1282696 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Chris Alheit told me that at present, the 2015 Cartology Bush Vines comes from nine vineyards. It offers complex and quite arresting aromas of walnut, wax resin, linseed and smoke that blossom in the glass, always as much an intellectual proposition as a sensory one. The palate is well balanced with superb balanced, very saline in the mouth, evoking images of the sea, fanning out with citrus fruit mixed with hazelnut and Chinese five spice. This is yet another killer wine in the Cartology series since 2011. (NM)  (4/2017)

93 points Vinous

 Pale straw-gold. A slightly resiny quality intrudes on aromas of lemon zest, orange blossom, quince and lanolin. Rich, slightly sweet and deep, offering lovely concentration and inner-mouth density to its waxy Sémillon and soft citrus notes; classically dry with time in the glass. Most impressive today for its velvety middle and tactile, palate-staining finish but this wine needs patience. A distinctly powerful and slightly wild style at 14%, and a touch phenolic as well. There's something Old World about this serious Chenin/Sémillon blend, which held up very well in the recorked bottle. (ST)  (5/2017)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Gorgeous, with rich lemon curd, shortbread and white peach notes contrasted with racy quinine, verbena and white ginger flavors. The long finish ripples with minerality and clementine zest. Shows terrific range and length. Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2025. (JM, Web only-2017)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This Chenin Blanc-based wine, with 14% Sémillon, is complex, layered and evolving, expressing different waves of flavor and texture with each sip. Initial scents of lanolin and waxy pink apple transition into earthy notes of dried yellow flowers and grass, while the medium-weight palate evokes tart, refreshing flavors of lime leaf, lemon peel and white melon rind. It's zippy and bright in feel, with lively, briny acidity, and the finish shows fantastic evolution that ends on a earthy, forest-foliage note. Drink now–2025. (LB)  (4/2018)

K&L Notes

Named after the science of mapmaking, Cartology is Alheit's ode to the geography of the Cape. Comprising heritage grapes (Chenin Blanc and Semillon) grown on mature, bushvines from parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Bottelary, False Bay, Franschhoek and Botrivier. Winemaker's notes on the 2015 vintage: "almost think it’s enough to quietly inform you that 2015 was an extremely good vintage for white wine in the Cape. So much so, that we’re keeping quite a bit more than usual for ourselves. This bottling is intensely flavoured; ripe pear, honey and limey citrus come to mind. There are herbal/floral notes too--spearmint and lime leaf. As with all of our 2015s, the natural acid is a treat."

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Price: $34.99

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Staff Image By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/14/2017 | Send Email
Cartology “maps” out the most significant and favored old vines this dynamic husband and wife winemaking team (Chris and Suzaan Alheit) own or have access to from their neighbors. This bottling brings those plots together in a meaningful cuvee that is the picture of South African’s finest expressions. A full dense nose alerts you immediately that this will be a full bodied wine ready for deep thoughts and lots of return sips to watch the wine graduate through many beautiful cycles. Lemon curd and mineral tones start the procession as yellow plumb and a variety of dry field herbs start to file into place. The first viscous sip confirms the nose’s intuition as the palate fills with briny lemon, ripe plum that is carried by the acid balance you hoped would structure the wine. The finish is long and almost unending…

Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2017 | Send Email
Another beautiful showing from South Africa. The Cartology shows a rich, creamy palate with the Semillon being very prominent. Quince, lanolin, and a nice herbal component. It is never heavy, with a perfect balance between the richness and the acidity. It can definitely fill the niche for those wanting something different, and yet quite delicious!

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14