Alheit Vineyards 2020 Cartology
2020 sees the tenth release of this iconic South African wine from pioneering winemaker Chris Alheit. Since its inception the wine has been a blend of old vine Chenin Blanc and Semillon, not necessarily sourced from the same site from year to year, but always from vineyards that are 30+ years old, dry-farmed and bush vines. The 2020 is 93% Chenin and 7% Semillon, the latter lower than usual this vintage. The Chenin comes from parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Upper Blaauwklippen, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Semillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek. The production is down by one-third this year, mostly down to Chris making a more rigorous triage selection. There are no releases of two of Chris' single vineyard wines this year: Huilkrans and Broom Ridge, the tiny production of each has been absorbed into this blend.
The 2020 is another hugely successful vintage. The palate initially gives the impression of weight and density, but there is lightness and a crystalline purity. We have not noticed the creaminess in that this wine has in previous vintages tasted at this young stage.
"2020 marks the tenth vintage of Cartology - how Chris Alheit's star has ascended in the last decade - and is an inspirational, eight terroir blend of Chenin Blanc and 7% Semillon. Always more than the sum of its parts, it's a beautifully judged, ageworthy white with aromas of sea salt, straw and blackcurrant leaf and an intense gunflint, dried herb and citrus palate. Long and satisfying." Tim Atkin MW, South Africa Wine Report 2021, 95Pts