Alheit Vineyards

Alheit Magnetic North Oliphants River Chenin Blanc 2015



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. 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.

Chris Alheit had just driven from the vineyards in the namesake iron-rich vineyard when I tasted the 2015 Magnetic North Mountain Makstok. It has a subtle bouquet with Jasmine, Mirabelle, yellow plum and linseed aromas that gather momentum in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with light lemon peel and hazelnut notes. This is a minimalist Magnetic North, tensile and focused, again more about the texture than over flavors, stem ginger tingling on the saline aftertaste. It is one of those enigmatic wines that poses more questions and answers, but occasionally that's just what you seek from a wine.

wine is currently a baby, wanting more time to
completely form and express itself with full potential.
The nose is shy at first, needing some airing
to coax out notes of singed fynbos, greengage and
white melon rind. The palate offers a bit more fruit
expression, as waves of citrus peel, Asian pear and
dried apple skin are framed by a chalky minerality
and just a hint of nutty stone-fruit pit. A sea-breeze
salinity graces the driven, precise finish. Drink

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