DRINKING NOW - Chris Alheit Hereafter Here 2020
WE HAVE A STUNNING CHENIN FROM CHRIS ALHEIT TO ENJOY NOW!
Welcome to our new Drinking Now series. From time to time, one of the team will send out recommendations of some undiscovered and limited gems from our cellar that are 'drinking now', meaning we have done all the hard work by laying down, nurturing and hiding in a dark space so that wines will softly age with grace.
All that's left to do is make the order and pop that cork.
This week, Chris has uncovered this beauty.
We opened up a bottle a couple of weeks ago, and the wine is singing
Save a further total 10% on a case price when you add 6 bottles to Checkout!
Alheit Vineyards is a family business started in 2010 by husband and wife team Chris and Suzaan Alheit. They met at Stellenbosch University, fell in love, travelled the world together, got married, then travelled some more. Eventually, they settled on Hemelrand farm close to Hermanus and started their project. Their goals are simple. They want to make wines with a clear sense of Cape identity. They want to show that the Cape’s vinous heritage is worth celebrating and protecting. They love old vineyards. They love dry farming. They love bushvines. They think that “ordinary grapes” are wonderful. They believe that great things are possible here in the Cape, and that they are now just scratching the surface of what can be done.
This maiden vintage is based on two young blocks in Stellenbosch. The main contributor is jokingly called Baby Duck (long story). Baby Duck is planted on granite soils on a gentle southern slope in the Polkadraai Hills ward in Stellenbosch. The second vineyard is planted in the Upper Blaauwklippen Valley on deep red soil. In future vintages we will include young vineyards from our other sites, especially our own farm in the Swartland.
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 old barrels (various sizes). Fermentation can last anywhere between three weeks and eleven months. The wine is kept on lees for around twelve months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling. Very simple, careful winemaking.
The wine is full-bodied and bright, lovely nose of pear juice, yellow fruit and blossoms, very fine palate, rich enough for the table, refreshing enough to be an apéritif. See for yourself. The wine is already showing great potential. The palate is creamy and textured with lifted floral touches and complex minerality. You can certainly see the Alheit DNA in this excellent debut.
“Hereafter Here is a new wine from Chris Alheit, made with two young vine parcels in the Polkadraai Hills and the Blaauwklippen Road areas. Crystalline, pure and bright with subtle old wood, lemon zest and white flower notes and a racy, saline finish.”
93 Points, Tim Atkin MW
Now.. or up to 2028.