Boekenhoutskloof, The Chocolate Block 750ml 2018South Africa, Swartland
Boekenhoutskloof, located in the Franschhoek valley, was established in 1776 and gets its name ‘Boekenhout’ from an indigenous Beech tree. Boekenhoutskloof, managed by Marc Kent, describes themself as a Syrah specialist. They have various brands within their portfolio including Boekenhoutskloof, The Wolftrap, Porcupine Ridge and The Chocolate Block. Their efforts in conservation can be seen through initiatives they have taken-on in their farm and surrounding areas. They are also a founding member of the Franschhoek Mountain Conservancy.
69% Syrah, 13% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier
'The fact that Boekenhoutskloof produced 2,236 barrels of this Rhône-meets-Bordeaux style blend in 2018 tells you what a flag-waving success it is. Syrah-dominated with the remaining 31% made from Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and a dash of Viognier, it's intense, scented and silky with tobacco spice, bramble and blackcurrant fruit and even a hint of dark chocolate. 2021-26.' – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2019, 92/100
'The nose is dense and brooding, yet opulent, with its compote of dark, ripe plums and blackberry and attractive whiffs of liquorice, violets, cocoa and mint. The black fruit and perfume of the nose follow through onto a rich, savoury palate with flavours of dark cherry, red currant, black olives and cured meat. Fine grained, svelte tannins are in perfect balance with the lemony acidity, lending complexity to the mid-palate. The wine is full-bodied with a rich, smooth mouthfeel. The finish is charry and long, with hints of maraschino cherry, pimento olives and sweet tobacco.' – Winemaker
Comments from the winemakers:
The 2018 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (69%), Grenache Noir (13%), Cinsault (9%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%) and Viognier (1%). The effect of the drought has now become even more apparent, making correct picking dates crucial to secure the very best fruit quality. Time spent in the vineyard was therefore essential to ensure timeous picking at optimum phenolic ripeness. With yields being even lower than usual, the quality was exceptional with very concentrated berries and surprisingly good natural analysis. The Swartland vineyards are renowned for its slate and granitic soils, creating tension and vibrancy in the wine. Syrah remains our backbone with Grenache Noir lending a delicate fruitiness and finesse, Cinsault giving floral and ripe strawberry notes and Cabernet Sauvignon contributing good tannic grip and structure in the blend. The Grenache was matured in 600L barriques to retain its unmistakable fruity aromas and a pronounced freshness. The wine matures in 1st (all of the Cabernet Sauvignon), 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barriques as well as 2 500L French oak foudrés for 12 months before it undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration. 2 236 barriques were selected for our 2018 vintage.
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AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JR: JancisRobinson.com | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WS: Wine Spectator