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. 2023-30 95/100 Tim Atkin MW
I personally put a great deal of thought into the assembly of this wine, wanting to bottle something beautiful to celebrate the 10th vintage. The wine looks alive and bright, pale gold in colour. Citrus rind and pear ring clear on the nose…there’s a faint herbal/stony echo and some soft cardamon-like spice here too. The palate is sappy and layered, fine and dry with lovely cleansing acidity. Long finish. I’d say more, but I think the wine will speak for itself. 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: 93% Chenin Blanc, 7% Sémillon
RS: 2.80 g/litre
TA: 5.7 g/litre
Bottling June 2021