Since its first, headline-grabbing release in 2011, Cartology has become a key wine in the history of the new South Africa. Blended across the Western Cape, it’s an assemblage of Chenin Blanc with 10% Semillon that’s herbal, textured and sappy with notes of oatmeal, citrus and pear, pithy acidity, subtle oak and a spicy twist. Arguably the best release since 2011. 2021-27 95/100 Tim Atkin MW
The “flagbearer” of the range and what a super-sexy wine it is in 2019! The nose shows citrus, apple, peach and hay to go with some flinty reduction and a little waxiness. The palate has great fruit density, punchy acidity playing off against a slightly oily texture while the finish is long and pithy. Properly complex (La Colline had to go somewhere…).’ – Christian Eedes, Winemag.co.za, 95/100
Weight and power are not the same thing. Here’s a wine with a moderate palate weight that has both intensity and power. The nose is wonderful: kumquat citrus, sweet oatmeal and honey, maybe elderflower. The palate is fine and bright, reminiscent of salty/sweet candied lemon, great length. Chris Alheit
Cartology means the study of maps or charts. It could not be 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 our staple offering. It serves as a poster child for our project, and also seems to have become a flag bearer for Cape heritage wine in general.
As a rule, the Cartology parcels are dry farmed bushvines, with a minimum age of 30 years, although most are between 40 and 50 years old. Average yields for these parcels is around 3 tons/Ha or around 20hl/Ha. Cartology 2019 is 90% Chenin blanc and 10% Sémillon. The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Piekenierskloof, Perdeberg, Bottelary, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Sémillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.
Winemaking and Maturation
The grapes are hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The juice is very lightly settled (we like very cloudy raw juice) with no additions to the raw juice, wild fermentation in either cements eggs, clay pots, foudres, or old barrels (various sizes). Fermentation can last anywhere between 3 weeks and 11 months. The wine is kept on lees for around 12 months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.
Varieties: 90% Chenin Blanc, 10% Sémillon
RS: 2.0 g/litre
TA: 5.8 g/litre