2021 Alheit Vineyards Monument Semillon
Monument Sémillon is a single vineyard wine from an old vineyard in Franschhoek farmed by father and son, Anton and Koos Roux on their family farm, La Colline. Anton's grandfather planted the vineyard in 1936 on an elevated South facing slope overlooking the valley below. The parcel is situated between 310 m and 350 m above sea-level. The soil is mostly granitic with plenty of quartz. In many ways, this parcel is a living monument to a bygone agricultural era and to the history of the Cape wine.
The grapes were hand sorted and whole bunch pressed. The raw juice was settled overnight with no additions, then racked relatively clean compared to their Chenins and wild fermented in old barrels. After fermentation, the wine was kept on primary lees in barrels for 18 months prior to bottling without fining.
The 2021 Monument lives up to its name (having previously been labelled "La Colline"). This is a great Semillon, perhaps a step up from the 2020. Yellow plum and honeysuckle intermingle with dried apricot and a very light, cereal-like note on the nose. The palate is well balanced with a slight flor-like note on the entry. It comes with a fine spine of acidity and yellow fruit mixed with stem ginger on the persistent finish. Give this three or four years in bottle. Drink 2022-2040.
Neal Martin - Vinous
Chris Alheit normally uses grapes from two parts of the legendary, south-facing La Colline vineyard for Monument, but in 2021 they all came from the top of the slope. Showing the balance of its old-vine source (planted in 1936 or possibly earlier), this combines leesy weight with notes of fynbos and green herbs, subtle skin tannins and an intense, stony core. Drink 2023-2030.
Tim Atkin MW - South Africa Special Report