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Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block Red Blend 2017

  • W&S93
  • TA93
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.4 5 Ratings
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4.4 5 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The nose is exceptionally perfumed with an abundance of complex red and dark berry fruit, violets and intense aromas of white pepper. Dark brooding fruit follows through onto a structured, opulent palate with notes of cardamom, cumin, cloves and black pepper. The midpalate is rich, textured and balanced with integrated acidity, cocoa powdery tannins and a definite cedarwood character derived from French oak. White pepper lingers on a smooth, lifted finish.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Shortly into taking notes on this wine, I gave up and wrote, “Oh yum.” With less syrah and more grenache and cinsault than the 2016, it’s super-floral and spicy, with a crushed-berry freshness to the fruit that makes it immediately appealing. Stay with it for a few moments and it develops the savor of a steak cooked black and blue, the bloody tang of the meat and smokiness of the grill marks adding a deep savor. Poured blind, it’d be easily confused for a top Rhône grenache—at least, until the price is revealed.
TA 93
Tim Atkin

One of South Africa’s most successful brands, selling at a price that many producers can only dream of, this Syrah-based cuvée with Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier is smooth, youthful and floral, with Asian spices, bramble and blueberry fruit, some tannic backbone and the potential to age further in bottle. 2020-26.

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Boekenhoutskloof

Boekenhoutskloof

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Boekenhoutskloof, South Africa
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The name "Boekenhoutskloof" comes from the Cape beech, or Kaapse boekenhout, a tree indigenous to Franschhoek and once used by the Cape Dutch for furniture making. It is pronounced, not easily, bok-un-hoatscloof. The winery's white-washed, Dutch-style farmhouse, dated 1771, once stood in an orchard; pears still plump up in the trees around it. Kent and his partners, including South Africa's consummate ad-men John Hunt and Reg Lascaris, have never advertised the wine. And still the bottles - each with a sleek hand-torn label picturing seven different Capestyle chairs, one for each partner - keep selling out.

Kent is now studying to be a master of wine, one of three in South Africa taking the seriously competitive international course rather than the regional one. He's not got hubris enough to presume the post himself; he's already saturated in the business of making Boekenhoutskloof, as well as the winery's second label, Porcupine Ridge.

While he sounds casual about his craft ("It's a series of decisions, and when you make them"), small details give away his obsessive streak. His dogs are called Petrus and Gaja.

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Franschhoek Valley

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Originally named Franschhoek meaning the “French Corner” because it was home to the influx of French Huguenots, today the valley contains many historic cellars and is an important tourist location because of its proximity to Cape Town.

This valley falls to the southeast of Paarl and is enclosed on three sides by towering mountains. Streams from the slopes flow down to the valley floor, converging to form the Berg River. The area excels in the production of full-bodied reds.

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Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

PBC2305340_2017 Item# 514023