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Alheit Vineyards 2021 vintage release

We are excited to share the official national release of the 2021 vintage of Cape heritage white wines from husband-and-wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit, of Alheit Vineyards. With the exception of the Cartology, all wines are available on an allocation basis only.

Dear Reader,

This year, Chris and Suzaan Alheit again release six Cape white wines but it’s not a like-for-like with the 2020s. The biggest difference this year with the 2021 vintage is that there is no ”Magnetic North”. The entire production was ruined by a fault in a new tank that was purchased for fine lees aging. But, the good news is that the ”Fire by Night” is back: the wine and the name (it was previously renamed to Broom Ridge). This is a 100% Chenin blanc from a single site of bush vine Chenin blanc planted in the Alheit’s Paardeberg property called Nuwedam. The vines were planted between 1972 and 1985. The wine is very expressive already, displaying wonderful radiancy, purity and poise.

There is still no ”Huilkrans” as there was just too little rain during the 2021 growing season, but Chris has already confirmed that we can all expect a 2022 release next year.

With regards to the rest of the 2021 vintage line-up, we welcome the sophomore release of the “Hereafter Here” which is Chris and Suzaan’s 100% young vine Chenin blanc. The 2021 is again a W.O. Western Cape wine which contains parcels from the Swartland close to Malmesbury, the Upper Blaauwklippen and Polkadraai. There is a clear step up from last year. The 2021 is tighter and more focused. This is a fantastic buy.

The 2021 “Cartology” must be one of the most highly anticipated South African releases coming off the back of the incredible 2020. The wine remains a blend of 90% Chenin blanc and 10% Sémillon and the 2021 Chenin fruit comes from parcels in the Skurfberg, Malmesbury, Perdeberg, Bottelary, Upper Blaauwklippen, False Bay and Tygerberg. The Sémillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek. This wine seems to get more serious every year. Our advice is to load up on the ”Cartology” as it needs time in bottle and will continue to evolve over the next 5-plus years.

Planted in 1978 at Rustenhof farm in Firgrove (southern Stellenbosch) are bush vines of Chenin blanc which go into the “Nautical Dawn”. The first vintage of this was the 2017 and it has quickly become one of South Africa’s benchmark Chenins. There is plenty of sunshine in this wine with seriously impressive structure. This is another Chenin for the cellar.

The “Monument Sémillon” is a single vineyard wine produced from vines planted in 1936 in Franschhoek on a family-run farm called La Colline, farmed by father and son, Anton and Koos Roux. There are some alluring limey aromatics here and a richness on the palate which is balanced by a fresh, acidic backbone. This wine is for those who love their more textured and weighty Cape white wines.

Lastly, we have an outlier of a wine in the Alheit Vineyards range because it’s made from a unique vineyard. The “Hemelrand Vine Garden” is produced from the Hemelrand vineyard which is situated on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge at 360 meters above sea level. The blend’s proportions vary vintage to vintage, but the 2021 is a blend of 36% Chardonnay, 27% Roussanne, 18% Chenin, 16% Verdelho and 3% Muscat. Compared to the 2020, this release seems more tightly knit. It’s a wonderfully fresh and bright wine that offers loads of drinking pleasure.

Alheit Vineyards line-up

Due to the nature of Chris and Suzaan’s production, there is never a lot of wine to go around and therefore, availability on most of the wines is on an allocation basis only with preference given to those customers who purchased the 2020 wines last year.

The 2021 ”Cartology” is available on a first-come first-served basis. 

Hereafter Here | 2021 | W.O. Western Cape | R 305 per bottle* 
Cartology | 2021 | W.O. Western Cape | R 395 per bottle 

Nautical Dawn | 2021 | W.O. Stellenbosch | R 465 per bottle* 
Fire by Night  | 2021 | W.O. Swartland | R 795 per bottle* 
Monument Sémillon | 2021 | W.O. Franschhoek | R 665 per bottle* 
Hemelrand Vine Garden | 2021 | W.O. Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge | R 355 per bottle* 

*Available on an allocation basis only

Chris will be up in Johannesburg later on in the year to guide customers through the 2021 wines at an event with a venue and exact date to be confirmed in due course. In the meantime, we hope you manage to get hold of some of this country’s very finest Cape heritage white wines.

*Online orders for Cartology 2021 only