Alheit Vineyards | Sadie Family Wines | Vilafonté

Live Virtual Auction, 10 October 2021

Fine Wine

Sold for

ZAR 11 725
Lot 9
  • Alheit Vineyards; Cartology Vertical; 2011 - 2020; 10 (1 x 10); 750ml
  • Alheit Vineyards; Cartology Vertical; 2011 - 2020; 10 (1 x 10); 750ml

Lot Estimate
ZAR 12 000 - 15 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 11 725

About this Item

Cartology Vertical, 2011 - 2020
10 (1 x 10) 750ml

Chris and Suzanne Alheit set the wine world on fire with their maiden 2011 Cartology receiving 96 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Aiming to harness the best old vineyards across the Cape, the Cartology offered a textured old-vine Chenin Blanc Semillon blend with startling purity and depth. Passionate and focused on the expression of place, tiny, long-forgotten parcels were added to the range, and are today South Africa’s most profound white wines. We auction maiden vintages of Magnetic Makstok on the legendary ‘Skurfkop’ in the Citrusdal area, Huilkrans in the Paardeberg, La Colline in Franschhoek, and, extremely rare Radio Lazarus in Stellenbosch.

Cartology is one of the most recognisable Cape white blends today.

Cartology (meaning the study of maps) 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 Semillon. These grapes have been planted in the Cape for centuries. As a rule, the Cartology parcels are dry farmed bushvines, with a minimum age of thirty years, altough most are between forty and fifty years old. Cartology has become the staple offering. It serves as a poster child for the Alheit Vineyards project, and also seems to have become a flag bearer for Cape Heritage wine in general.

Critics Ratings

2011 - 'The nose is a complex, almost aggressive, showing ripe stone fruits and quince, punctuated by high notes of limey citrus and honey. The palate shows ample power, without excess weight. It has a fine form; seamless from the formidable attack, through mineral laden somewhat “nervous” mid palate. Persistent finish, final impression is refreshing and moreish' - Chris Alheit

‘Our unofficial Newcomer of the Year, 2011 special and exciting in every way: provenance of old Chenin bushvines with a dash of Semillon from five far-flung sites. Natural older-barrel ferment, stylish extrinsics (wax-sealed bottle, thoughtful website); oxidative melt-in-mouth opulence. Place your order today! - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2013, 5*

‘ really want the Cape to be seen in a new light”, says Chris Alheit, who worked in Napa, Western Australia, Bordeaux and the Mosel before returning to South Africa to concentrate on old vine whites, such as this remarkable Chenin/Semillon blend, sourced from vineyards across the winelands. It’s a little like a white Rhone blend, but with a character all of its own. Subtle oak, a touch of oatmeal, fresh acidity, some honey and pear, and mouth-filling concentration. Overall White Wine of the Year.’ - Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2013, 97/100

‘The maiden 2011 Cartology Bush Vines is a blend of 92% Chenin Blanc and 8% Semillon from vines between 320m and 540m in altitude from Perdeberg, Citrusdal Mountains, Kasteelberg and Bottelary Hills, while the Semillon is from Franschhoek. It has a heavenly bouquet that blossoms from first opening: quince, wild honey, melted candle wax, a touch of almond developing with time and lemon curd. It offers brilliant delineation and gains complexity with time in the glass. The palate is succinctly balanced, fresh as a daisy, brimming with energy from its potent attack to its perfectly focused, mineral-laden finish.’ - Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 96/100 (Dec 2012)

2012  -'There’s yellow fruit, marzipan and an intriguing earthy note. The fruit is so concentrated that the wine is almost weighty but balance is provided by just enough acidity, the finish nicely savoury. It’s an exciting, provocative wine, but I remain quite sure that we’ll see more completely resolved versions of Cartology yet.' - Christian Eedes,, 91/100

'The 2012 Cartology Bush Vines has a slightly backward bouquet compared to the 2011 and indeed it was quite reductive for the first three years. There is a light marine influence here, with touches of beeswax and wet wool, a hint of orange pith coming through with time. The palate is fine balanced with a perfectly judged seam of acidity. There is a gentle crescendo in this Cartology, veins of ginger and lemongrass, perhaps showing a little more restraint but more harmony than the debut 2011. Tasted at the Alheit seminar with Chris Alheit in London.' - Neal Martin, Vinous, 93/100 (Jun 2019)

'The sophomore 2012 Cartology Bush Vines took 10 to 15 minutes to really open. The bottom line is that it is not as immediate as the debut, its disposition a little taciturn with tightly wound dried pineapple, yellow flower and spice aromas unfolding but demurring moving into fifth gear. The palate is well-balanced with a creamy textured opening and it builds very subtly offering popcorn, brioche, custard creme and citrus fruit – but in much more subtle, understated fashion compared to the 2011 that sprinted out of the blocks. I would actually allow this wine two or three years in bottle to demonstrate what it is capable of. Drink 2015-2023.' - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92+/100 (Oct 2013)

2013 - The bouquet is very well-defined with great clarity, very reminiscent of the 2011, opening up with aeration to reveal subtle scents of lemon curd, apricot, honeysuckle and Mirabelle. The palate is well-balanced, harmonious in the mouth, everything understated at first, but it builds nicely toward a taut, saline finish… Succinct is the word that comes to mind - and that is not an easy attribute to instill into a wine’ – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (October 2014), 93/100

13 from 4 old blocks of Chenin, one (12%) of Semillon. Scents of warmed stone, fynbos, fruit (with semillon’s lanolin & lemon). Triumphant but understated power from start to long, long finish. Already complex layers of sweet, serene flavours in supple, silky harmony. Will develop.’ – Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2015, 4.5*

This is really spicy on the nose, more rocky and mineral. Real tension here, arrow-like at the core but clothed in non-sweet lemony fruit depth. This has so much tension and some grip in the texture. Less creamy but very fruity, more peppery on the finish. Becoming very scented on the nose. Not the same concentration as in 2011 and 2014 but more minerally and direct.’ – Julia Harding MW, (July 2018), 17/20

(88% Chenin Blanc and 12% Semillon; from low-yielding old bush vines): Pale straw-yellow. Fresh, subtle aromas of citrus fruit, pear, honeysuckle, minerals and lanolin, plus a whiff of redcurrant. A laid-back midweight wine with a slight umami salinity to its understated lemon, quince, stone and dried herb flavors. This very young white wine finishes with sneaky persistence.’ – Stephen Tanzer, (June 2015), 91/100

2014 - ‘As usual, 2014 is from 4 old blocks of widely sourced Chenin, one (11%) of Semillon. The aromas of a hot, scrubby hillside, yet somehow cool. Mouth-filling richness with peach skin texture and mineral undertone. Piercing, lemony intensity; cruises to a long, clean finish. All these wines matured in old oak; hands-off winemaking.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2016, 4.5*

‘In a matter of only three years, Cartology has established itself as one of South Africa’s best white blends, combining Chenin and Semillon from various sources to brilliant effect. Waxy, spicy, toasty and herbal, this wine is all about balance and transparency. A Cape classic in the making.’ - Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2015, 95/100

‘The 2014 is Chris Alheit's fourth release of the Cartology Bush Vines since it blazed onto the South African scene. It comes from the same vineyards as previous vintages. Chris said this is completely unfined and unfiltered with a very healthy pH. The nose has a sense of confidence about it, racing out of the blocks with orange zest, honeysuckle, jasmine and a touch of loganberry. The palate is lightly honeyed on the entry, beautifully balanced with a fine line of acidity, gently building in the mouth towards a complex, absorbing finish of lychee, white pepper and fennel. What a fantastic wine, but then again, that's where Chris Alheit has set the bar.’ - Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 94/100 (Oct 2015)

2015 - ‘More than ever, 2015 reflects Chenin Blanc and Semillon partnership, the latter up to 14% in this vintage. There’s an earthy, sunnily ripe aromatic quality mirrored in the rich and dense texture. Clean, lemony intensity provides a lengthy conclusion. Lovely wine from grand vintage; long potential.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2017, 4.5*

‘The blend has grown in size since the maiden 2011 vintage of this brilliant Chenin with 14% Semillon blend, but it’s still a very impressive wine, sourced from nine different parcels. Floral, leesy and spicy, with notes of beeswax, pear and green apple and a slight bitter twist.’ - Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2016, 94/100

‘Gorgeous, with rich lemon curd, shortbread and white peach notes contrasted with racy quinine, verbena and white ginger flavors. The long finish ripples with minerality and clementine zest. Shows terrific range and length. Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now through 2025.’ - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, 92/100 (Feb 2017)

2016 - 'The nose shows lemon peel, fennel, spearmint, ripe apple and pear, perhaps a touch of honey. The palate is very vibrant and fine, with ample texture and weight. The finish is long and refreshing. For me, this is the most balanced Cartology bottling to date. Is it arrogance to feel so good about a wine? Yep, probably.' - Chris Alheit

2017 - 'Chris Alheit’s “vinous exploration of Cape heritage” continues to delight. Now in its seventh vintage, it’s a cuvée of Chenin and 11% Semillon sourced from ten sites. Waxy, spicy and complete, it has leesy intensity, notes of hay and aromatic herbs and tangy, green apple acidity. 2019-27.' - Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2018, 94/100

87% Chenin Blanc, 13% Semillon. A complex and subtle nose of pear, peach, apple, even some blackcurrant plus herbs and a little wet wool. Pure and fresh – hangs together really well – the finish long and dry. This is perhaps not as thrilling as Alheit’s single-vineyard bottlings but it does have a completeness about it. Drawn from vineyards across the Western Cape, this is, as always, a subtle and intellectually demanding wine. Alcohol: 13.5%.' - Christian Eedes,, 94/100

'The 2017 Cartology comes from old bush vines, saw no SO2 addition during ferment and, after a rough settling, was matured in used barrels. It has a very attractive bouquet of dried honey, orange blossom and beeswax, very well defined and gaining intensity all the time in the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with a gorgeous tangy, marmalade-tinged opening. The acidity is extremely well judged (as it nearly always is) and a touch of stem ginger and rhubarb emerges toward the poised, energetic finish. Excellent.' - Neal Martin, Vinous, 93/100 (Aug 2018)

The 2017 Cartology Bush Vines represents all that is good about Chenin Blanc from South Africa. With so many different styles existing in South Africa today, the Catrology has a focused and refined nose with a weight on the mid-palate that can be felt by the drinker. This wine is both precise and elegant. Just by feeling the wine on the palate, you begin to sense the love and attention this wine received during its élevage. Muskmelon, creamy peach yogurt and Meyer lemon glide over the palate and will make you do a double take. Sensations of light beeswax and dusty citrus blossoms follow the fruit onto the finish. The wine is full-bodied with a full-structured finish that lingers long. This is going into my cellar, and I recommend that you grab a bottle for yourself. 1,400 cases were made. - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93/100 (Oct 2019)

2018 -  'The original Alheit wine, from far-flung vineyards. Just 10% Semillon with Chenin in 2018 but enough to add some wax and honey notes to soft yellow apple fruit and lemon zest freshness. Touch of oatmeal and nuts from old oak and 10 months on the lees, a little weight on the mid-palate from small concrete ‘egg’-fermented portion.’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2020, 4.5* (93/100)

‘Is this the best vintage of Cartology since the maiden 2011 release? I reckon so. Made from a blend of Chenin Blanc and 10% Semillon, spanning the Western Cape from Citrusdal Mountain to Faure, it's weighty yet ethereal, with lots of leesy intensity, subtle oak and pear and citrus fruit. 2020-28.’ - Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2019, 95/100

‘Combining elegance with power, this stunning white opens with a note of rich lemon cream before flavors of peach and pine take over, with hints of bittersweet almond around the edges. The texture is alluring, almost velvety, but has a bit of grip, adding to the structure. A long savory mineral streak marks the finish. Chenin Blanc and Sémillon. Best from 2022 through 2032.’ - Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator, 93/100 (Nov 2020)

2019 - 'From various old-vine Chenin parcels in Western Cape and 10% Franschhoek Semillon. 2019 really singing, with creamy pineapple and citrus fruit enlivened with a touch of orange peel and toasted oatmeal. Zesty, pithy acidity throughout and excellent length. Even finer than 2018 (4.5 stars, 93 pts). Natural ferment, hands-off winemaking, neutral vessels (here including 20% ‘eggs’).’ - Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2021, 5* (95/100)

‘Such intensity! Salty beeswax on the nose and some green notes (Sémillon?) streak the liquid honey (though it's a bone-dry wine) and real grip on the inside of the palate. Very tense but with masses of fruit. Still very youthful but it's rather difficult to resist. Really throbs for ages on the finish.’ - Jancis Robinson MW,, 18/20 (Mar 2021)

‘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.’ - Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2020, 95/100

2020 - '93% Chenin Blanc and 7% Semillon, from unirrigated old-vine parcels situated across the Cape. Spontaneously fermented and matured in a variety of vessels including cement eggs, clay pots, foudres and old barrels of different sizes. Super-complex aromatics of pear, peach, lime, green apple, thatch, herbs, earth and some waxy character. The palate has excellent structure – great density of fruit matched by bright acidity. Marvellous intensity of flavour but also great drive, the finish long and savoury. An extraordinary achievement.’ - Christian Eedes,, 96/100 (Aug 2021)

‘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.’ - Tim Atkin SA Special Report 2021, 95/100



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