Alheit Vineyards Radio Lazarus 2015 75cl
This is also 100% Chenin and now comes from two sites atop the Bottelary Hills in Stellenbosch. The 2012 and 2014 (there was no 2013) were from a single parcel planted at the foot of a radio mast on the summit of one of the five peaks. This year Chris has added a second block, planted in 1971 from an adjacent site. Both are around 450 metres altitude and struggle with the wind and sun. Yields are, according to Chris, ‘painfully low’ with the vines offering less that one tonne of fruit per hectare. Production therefore is limited to the equivalent of six barrels, with two-thirds of the 2015 being fermented in amphora, made from clay sourced at the foot of the Bottelary Berg.
The wine has a restrained but intense nose and is currently tight and linear with a distinct Loire-like flavour profile and structure. Proper Chenin, then… The acidity carries the wine onto a chalky textured finish. Despite the high price tag, Chris claims these vines are not viable with such low yields, so Radio Lazarus is more an act of preservation rather than commercialisation.