A recent review of the 2014 vintage of The Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof (see here) prompted cellarmaster Marc Kent to send me a bottle of the current release 2015, for the first time made entirely from Swartland fruit, which he describes as a “significant step” for the brand.
A blend of 71% Syrah, 15% Grenache Noir, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cinsault and 1% Viognier, production amounted to the equivalent of 1 675 barriques or 502 500 bottles – the scale of this enterprise in the South African context is awesome.
So what does sourcing the grapes exclusively from the Swartland change? Essentially, I think the wine has become a little more aromatically brooding, the palate a little more savoury. On the nose, red and black fruit, some floral fragrance and spice but also some black olive which perhaps wasn’t there before. The palate is broad and super-rich, the tannins very fine – Kent is famously sceptical of “freshness” preferring weight and structure and this is indeed a hearty wine, the 14.74% alcohol bringing just a little heat to the finish. All in all, however, it’s a flavoursome drop. Wine Cellar price: R195 a bottle.
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