2021 Alheit Vineyards Fire by Night Chenin Blanc
Fire by Night is a single origin Chenin Blanc wine grown on Alheit's own Paardeberg property called Nuwedam, planted between 1972 and 1985 on various east, west, and north facing blocks. These vineyards are the pride and joy of the family, where the pure decomposed granite soils yield wines of clarity and focus.
The grapes were hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The resulting juice was very lightly settled with no additions and wild fermented in either cements eggs, clay pots, foudres or old barrels of various sizes. After fermentation the wine was kept on lees for around twelve months, then rested in tank on fine lees without fining for a further six months prior to bottling.
The 2021 Fire By Night, formerly known as Broom Ridge, has a lovely, seductive bouquet with mirabelle, jasmine and light candle wax aromas. It needs quite a bit of coaxing but then responds enthusiastically. The palate is very well balanced and cohesive with commendable salinity and a spiciness that lingers off-stage for a while before delivering enticing lemongrass and white pepper notes on the finish. Superb. Drink 2023-2040.
Neal Martin - Vinous
Chris Alheit's recently acquired Nuwedam farm on the Paardeberg is the source of this world-class Chenin Blanc, which shows his determination to "zero out the winemaking" and focus on site. White flower and roof thatch aromas segue into a taut, focused, stony, effortlessly concentrated palate with layers of fennel, oatmeal and green apple. Drink 2023-2031.
Tim Atkin MW - South Africa Special Report