Is Cartology 2011 the finest chenin in SA?

When Chris Alheit (below) heard we’d be terroir tasting in his Hemelrand valley on Sunday, he rose like Lazarus from his sickbed to bring us a bottle of Cartology 2011, an oxidative style chenin made from grapes grown on bush vines in multiple appellations including the Swartland, Stellenbosch and Skurfberg. And that’s just the S’s, Dr. Seuss!

20120724 031628 Is Cartology 2011 the finest chenin in SA?

I’d seen Chris on a Harry Reginald Haddon cult youtube video with some other Rhone Rangers and Joerg Pfuetzner had mentioned that Cartology was the finest chenin in SA when we were big bottling at Simonsig and dissecting Eric Azimov’s recent, shocking drive-by shooting of the cultivar in the New York Times.

After tasting it alongside a snoek (R50 from Hermanus harbor that morning) braaied by Gary Harlow with basil and apricot jam jus by Amanda, I had to admit he was not wrong. Creamy and nutty, we almost didn’t need the peppery olive oil from Barbara Lindop’s Hermanus pavement olive tree for the perfect Sunday evening meal.