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Cartology 2021 is 92% Chenin blanc and 8% Sémillon. The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Malmesbury, Perdeberg, Bottelary, Upper Blaauwklippen, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Sémillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.
Cartology means the study of maps or charts. It could not be a more perfect name for this wine. Not only because of our endeavours to search for and find these special old vineyards, but also because the wine itself can be seen as a vinous map or tapestry of the Cape.
Cartology is a vinous exploration of Cape heritage. It’s intended to be a picture of the Cape seen through the lens of her old vineyards in a given vintage. The cuveé is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bushvines, of heritage grapes, namely Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. These grapes have been planted in the Cape for centuries. Cartology has become Alheit’s staple offering. It serves as a poster child for the project, and also seems to have become a flag bearer for Cape heritage wine in general.
The grapes were hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The juice was very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation took place in cements eggs, clay pots, foudres, and old barrels (various sizes). Fermentation of various parcels lasted anywhere between 3 weeks and 11 months. The wine was kept on lees for around 12 months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further five months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.
The nose shows citrus oil and pear, with some subtle floral/honey tones. The palate is very well proportioned, with firm mid-palate structure, medium rich mouth feel, and long carry. Flavour persists and even intensifies throughout its length. The wine finishes dry and saline, refreshing the palate. This vintage has a sappy, thirst-quenching quality about it.