The nose offers a brooding compote of dark fruit with an abundance of perfume and savory whiffs of cured meat, black olives and cigar box. The palate shows red and dark berry fruit with flavors of ripe, red plums, blueberries, black cherries and tar evident on the mid-palate. The violets and spice of the nose follows through with a vibrant acidity and smooth, fleshy texture. Blackberries and licorice linger in the mouth with hints of dark chocolate and sweet tobacco.
The 2017 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (64%), Grenache (14%), Cinsault (11%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), and Viognier (1%). Due to the ongoing drought conditions, yields were again much lower, resulting in higher berry concentration and healthy grapes. Phenolic ripeness was easily achieved, with the harvesting of grapes taking place earlier, during the cooler stages of the harvest period. The Swartland vineyards are renowned for their slate and granitic soils, creating tension and vibrancy in the wine. The increased volume of both Grenache and Cinsault in the blend certainly enhances the flavor profile significantly, with Grenache contributing exceptional fruit purity and Cinsault lending floral and ripe strawberry notes. Syrah remains our structural backbone. The Grenache was matured in 600L barrels 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 barrels as well as 2500L French oak foudres for 12 months before it undergoes a light egg white fining and filtration. 2,057 barriques were selected for our 2017 vintage
Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm's name means 'ravine of the Boekenhout' (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making. In 1993 the farm and homestead was bought and restored and a new vineyard planting programme was established that now includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Semillon and Viognier. Boekenhoutskloof's phenomenal success owes much to both its cellarmaster from the start, Marc Kent, and Tim Rands, its dynamic founder. It is not just that Boekenhoutskloof makes cabernet, shiraz, semillon and noble late harvest wines that are hard to outclass (and often hard to find), the breadth of achievement and sheer growth has been equally impressive. The Chocolate Block red blend is made in locally unmatched quantities given its price and quality; at more easily affordable levels the Porcupine Ridge and Wolftrap wines deliver more than expected at their price points, but that judgment could really be made of all the wines.
Wine Advocate 91pts (2017) - A blend of 64% Syrah, 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier, the 2017 Chocolate Block is dense, rich and fully complex. The nose is filled with red and black fruits and black spices, with well-integrated oak tones of vanilla and nutmeg. There is an underlying minerality about the wine as well. On the palate, the wine is bold and chewy with a tight mineral and tannic grip. The mid-palate is loaded with blackberries, black pepper, dark chocolate and dusty plum. The finish is long and delivers a focused expression of a serious wine and will need time to age, or you will have to enjoy it with a hearty meal to tame the tannins. The full-bodied wine ends with a long finish.