CARTOLOGY

AN EXPLORATION OF CAPE HERITAGE

Concept: (meaning the study of maps) is a vinous exploration of Cape heritage. It is intended to be a picture of the Cape, seen through the lens of her mature vineyards, in a given vintage. Therefore, the cuveé is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bushvines. Naturally, the varieties used are also heritage varieties, namely Chenin blanc and Semillon. They have been planted in the Cape for centuries.

CARTOLOGY 2016

Composition: The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Bottelary, and False Bay. The Semillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.

Tasting Notes: 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.

CARTOLOGY 2015

Composition: The Chenin comes from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Bottelary, False Bay and Botrivier. The Semillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.

Notes: I almost think it’s enough to quietly inform you that 2015 was an extremely good vintage for white wine in the Cape. So much so, that we’re keeping quite a bit more than usual for ourselves. This bottling is intensely flavoured; ripe pear, honey and limey citrus come to mind. There are herbal/floral notes too - spearmint and lime leaf. As with all of our 2015’s, the natural acid is a treat.

CARTOLOGY 2014

Composition: The Chenin come from our parcels in the Skurfberg, Perdeberg, Bottelary, False Bay and Botrivier. The Semillon comes from the old La Colline block in Franschhoek.

Notes: By now you are probably familiar with the concept, vineyards, and character of our Cartology bottlings.  The 2014 wine is very alive and vibrant.  Obviously it’s just a baby, but so far has a nose of lime, fennel and quince. The palate is taught, very fine and balanced, with excellent structure and a persistent finish.  

CARTOLOGY 2013

Composition: 35% Skurfberg, 31% Perdeberg, 12% Bottelary hills, 10% Kasteelberg (all Chenin blanc), 12% Franschhoek (very old Semillon vineyard)

Tasting notes: Still extremely youthful, this wine is already displaying wonderful depths and subtleties. The nose is showing bright citrus notes, honeysuckle, fennel, ripe apple and pear. Already evident hints of stone fruits, quince and honey will become more pronounced with time. The palate is very bright and fine. The wine feels harmonious and succulent, with fantastic natural concentration and a persistent finish.

CARTOLOGY 2012

Composition: CARTOLOGY 2012: 35% Skurfberg (Citrusdal Mountain), 31% Perdeberg 15% Kasteelberg, 5% Bottelary Hills (all Chenin blanc) 14% Franschhoek (very old Semillon vineyard)

Tasting notes: The nose is a complex, both earthy and bright, showing lemon peel, ripe stone fruits and ripe apple. The palate is taut and slightly saline, with very good concentration and depth. The wine has a fine form, without excess bulk. Finish is very long, with a noticeable interplay of saline/sweet/tart elements.

CARTOLOGY 2011

Composition: CARTOLOGY 2011: 30% Perdeberg, 30% Skurfberg (Citrusdal Mountain), 20% Kasteelberg, 12% Bottelary Hills (all Chenin Blanc) 8% Franschhoek (very old Semillon vineyard)

Tasting notes: 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.

Click here for a map of where our vineyards are.

Click on the packshot for a high res version.


RADIO LAZARUS

Concept: Radio Lazarus is a single origin wine made from two extreme hilltop vineyards in the Bottlerary, Stellenbosch. As with Magnetic North, the idea is to express a place.

RADIO LAZARUS 2016

Composition: 100% highland dryland bushvine Chenin Blanc from two special parcels. One parcel grows on Ribbokkop (1978), one parcel on Bottelaryberg(1970). Origin Bottelary. Please see the Vineyards section for more information.

Tasting Notes: 2016 was a hot dry vintage that followed a dry winter. The wine reflects this accurately. The nose shows the typical dusty/chalky character of the hilltop shale soils, as well as the usual fennel notes, but unlike in 2015 there is also some ripe papaw/mango and orange peel present. The palate is very dense and concentrated, unfolding with time in the glass. The usual saline underpinnings are still present, even in such a dry year. Very interesting.

RADIO LAZARUS 2015

Composition: 100% high land dry land bushvine Chenin Blanc. 2015 represents a big first, in that Radio Lazarus is now made from two special parcels, instead of one. One parcel grows on Ribbokkop (1978), one parcel on Bottelaryberg(1970). Origin Botteralry. Please see the Vineyards section for more information.

Notes: At this early stage of the wine’s life, the nose is showing lovely aromatics of apple, citrus zest, fennel and its typical chalky/dusty note. The palate is full of energy. Sweet fruit elements swim upstream in vain against a rip current of stony salinity. Tannic and textural elements amplify the great natural acidity, creating a very refreshing, palate cleansing drink.

RADIO LAZARUS 2014

Composition: 100% high land dry land Chenin blanc.

The 2014 vintage counts a small personal victory for us. After all the work, it’s gratifying to see this vineyard producing a wine of such distinct personality and high quality. The nose is beginning to show some spice, bright citrus, ripe stone fruit and a distinctive chalky/dusty note. The palate follows suit, offering not only a backbone of tannin and acidity, but real complexity of flavours, both savoury and sweet. Typical of this vineyard, the wine has a savoury/dusty edge.

RADIO LAZARUS 2012

Composition: 100% high land dry land Chenin blanc.

Tasting notes: By our judgment, this wine will reward patience and good cellaring. It’s is still a juvenile. Obviously these notes are subjective, but for me the nose is already showing ripe apple, fennel seed, apricot and something akin to cherry. The broad strokes of the palate give the impression of a wine with a tall and bony skeleton seen in black and white, on which the first hints of colour and flesh are already appearing, and will become more defined and elaborate as the wine grows up. There is a noticeable and very pleasing saline mineral quality to the palate.

Click here for a map of where our vineyards are.

Click on the packshot for a high res version.


MAGNETIC NORTH MOUNTAIN MAKSTOK

Concept: Magnetic North is a single origin wine made from a special plot of ungrafted Chenin growing in the Skurfberg/Citrusdal Mountain part of the Olifants Rivier. As with Radio Lazarus, the idea is to express a place.

MAGNETIC NORTH MOUNTAIN MAKSTOK 2016

Composition: 100% highland dryland ungrafted bushvine Chenin Blanc.

Tasting Notes: The unique soils must have played a big role in how these vines coped with the dry year. There’s a clay layer about two meters below that must act as a reservoir, enabling the vines to do well in such conditions. We’ve never had a wine quite like this in the cellar. The nose is extremely impressive: high toned citrus and fynbos notes screaming love poetry at your nose. The palate is totally electric, bright, powerful and long. This is my personal favourite of our bottlings to date.

MAGNETIC NORTH MOUNTAIN MAKSTOK 2015:

Composition: 100% highland dryland ungrafted bushvine Chenin Blanc.

Notes: This wine is still very much in its early youth, however the nose is already quite impressive, showing grapefruit, honeysuckle and pear, with a “rusty” savoury type of edge. The palate is tightly wound, positively bristling with very fine tannin and great acidity, all leading to a finish which continues on long after swallowing. This wine gets me a bit emotional sometimes, then I remember to harden up.

MAGNETIC NORTH MOUNTAIN MAKSTOK 2014:

Composition: 100% highland dryland ungrafted bushvine Chenin Blanc.

Notes: The 2014 wine is true reflection of it place and vintage.  It’s very young, but already showing flavours of grapefruit and ripe lemon skin.  This wine is extremely vibrant and refreshing in nature. Despite being a medium bodied wine, it had tremendous “drive” through the palate. The intense pithy texture, fine tannin and somewhat saline finish are typical of this vineyard.  

MAGNETIC NORTH MOUNTAIN MAKSTOK 2013

Composition: 100% highland dryland ungrafted bushvine Chenin blanc.

Tasting notes: The wine is completely unique, to the point that I wonder if tasting notes are at all relevant. The nose is both bright and slightly earthy, showing flavours of fennel, citrus, quince and fynbos. It’s light on its feet, yet very intense and powerful, showing scintillating natural concentration. The texture is reminiscent of tightly woven, layered cloth. It seems to finish forever, as if the record got stuck or time stopped for a while.

Click here for a map of where our vineyards are.

Click on the packshot for a high res version.


HEMELRAND VINE GARDEN

HEMALRAND VINE GARDEN 2016

Composition: The 2016 is predominantly Roussanne, followed by Chenin, Chardonnay, Verdelho, and a pinch of Muscat.

Tasting Notes: 2016 was a very good vintage in the Hemel & Aarde. We had great ripening conditions, moderate temperatures with cool nights. The nose of the wine is very exotic. Floral notes jump out before apricot and lime come to the fore. Hazelnut loiters in the background. Lazy bastard. The palate is a push and pull between sweet fruit and stern acidity. It feels young, wild and awkward now, but I believe this wine will resolve into something fantastic in bottle.

Concept: Hemelrand is planted to Roussanne, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Viognier and Muscat. We bottle this wine just as the vineyard produces it, essentially creating a field blend. Proportions will vary every vintage because of climatic conditions. The primary concept is “one place, one wine”.

HEMELRAND VINE GARDEN 2015

Composition: The 2015 is predominantly Roussanne, followed by Chenin and Chardonnay. There is also a touch of Verdelho in this vintage. Unfortunately the Muscat was not yet bearing in 2015. From the 2016 vintage onward the Verdelho will play a bigger role, and we’ll have a pinch of Muscat too.

Notes: The nose is a bit of a show-off. Stone fruit and white flowers abound. There are also some hints of baking spice, roast nuts and ripe apple. The palate is powerful, with flavours reflecting the nose of the wine. High natural acidity cuts and carries the richness into a long flavourful finish. This wine will definitely stand up to a rich dish, perhaps something like chicken in tarragon cream.


LA COLLINE VINEYARD

LA COLLINE VINEYARD 2016

Composition: 100% old vine Semillon, Single Vineyard wine, approx. 10 – 15% Semillon Gris, 85 –90% Semillon Blanc (inter-planted), Franschhhoek.

Tasting Notes: This is our best bottling from this vineyard to date. I suppose the old vines have seen dry years before and know what to do. The nose shows some orange blossom, thatch, peach and citrus notes. Lovely concentration and depth. The wines from this vineyard make me think of
walking through a small door into a vast and ornate room.

LA COLLINE VINEYARD 2015

Composition: 100% old vine Semillon, Single Vineyard wine, approx. 10 – 15% Semillon Gris, 85 – 90% Semillon Blanc (inter-planted), Franschhhoek.

Notes: This bottling currently shows the usual bit of reduction on opening. This blows of after a short while. The nose shows orange peel, thatch, and touches of hedge fruit. The palate shows tremendous depth, along with the mid-palate density and texture that old vine Semillon is known for. This wine will certainly reward bottle ageing. Decanting recommended. Fear not the sediment.

ARROW HEART SEMILLON 2014

Composition: 75% skin fermented Semillon Gris, 25% whole bunch pressed Semillon Blanc.

Notes: The nose is very interesting, with earthy notes of bay leaf and white pepper. Glimmers of ripe tangerine and hedge fruit pierce the otherwise savoury scent.  The palate has real substance and density. Despite the moderate weight of the wine, it remains quite powerful.

Click here for a map of where our vineyards are.

Click on the packshot for a high res version.