BOEKENHOUTSKLOOF The Chocolate Block 2021 Bottle (Syrah,Grenache,Cinsault)
Red Still Wine | South Africa | Swartland | 75cl
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Closure Type: Cork
Country: South Africa
Wine Style: Medium Bodied
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah/Shiraz, Viognier
The Boekenhoutskloof farm, first established in 1776, was purchased in 1993 by a group of seven investors led by Tim Rands, the founder of Vinimark, a large South African wine marketing and distribution company. Rands brought in Marc Kent as winemaker in 1996. Kent, just 26, had previously been on track to become a pilot in the South African Air Force (his only wine experience was as a waiter at the Black Marlin restaurant near Cape Point). Undeterred, he somehow managed to kick-off with a bang as the 1996 vintage received much acclaim. What could have been seen as beginner's luck was swiftly shown to be real skill with subsequent vintages, and now marks one of the benchmark South African wines.
The first vintage of The Chocolate Block was produced in 2002 with just 15 barrels released in 2003 to much acclaim. The style of the wine has been described as Rhône meets Bordeaux due to the blend of grapes used. It is one of the UKs most googled wines and demand for the wine is huge. It’s savoury richness and opulent style has always been a hit with wine lovers but recent vintages have shown an extra finesse to the wine. Boekenhoutskloof have just been awarded SA winery of the year in the Platters Guide and are the first winery to win it for a second time.
There aren’t many more sought after wines from South Africa than The Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof. The 2021 Chocolate Block wine is a blend of Syrah 74%; Grenache 10%; Cinsault 8%; Cabernet Sauvignon 7% and Viognier 1%.
"The 2021 The Chocolate Block had been bottled a month before my visit. The Grenache and Cinsault plus part of the Syrah comes from Boekenhoutskloof's own vines and the remainder from purchased fruit. It undergoes whole berry fermentation and aged for 14 months in French barriques and two oak foudres. This has a much more refined and focused bouquet than the Chocolate Blocks of yore, brambly black fruit mixed with pencil lead and undergrowth. Impressive delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with powdery tannins, well judged acidity, quite structured and sappy towards the finish. Fine length." 90 points Neal Martin (Vinous).