Chocolate Block Vintage Report 2017

The Chocolate Block 2017

The Nuts & Bolts

64% Syrah, plus 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier.

The 2017 Chocolate Block is undoubtedly the finest since its inception. It's the 3rd vintage produced from 100% Swartland fruit and has an added sense of refinement and complexity.  

The Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block has been hugely successful in both international and local markets, whilst maintaining its sense of place and a high level of quality and consistency. The latest 2017 is the best yet. It is finely crafted and continues with the refinement that was first seen in the 2015 release. If you can find any 2015 vintage then get it bought! we thoroughly recommend it! 

Tasting Note:

Remarkable quality & consistency from sizeable production, 2,057 barrels in 17. Mainly syrah (64%) with grenache (14%) from own vineyards; bought-in cab (new barriques, rest older oak), cinsaut & viognier, as in 16. Plush & generous but serious, with structure & underlying power with potential for years cellaring.

'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.' – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2018, 93/100 

'The 2017 'The Chocolate Block' contains less Syrah than previous vintages: 64%, plus 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier, Cabernet is the only variety that saw new oak. It was matured 16 months in used oak. The important factor is that there is not much more fruit sourced from the estate’s vines in Porseleinberg and the Goldmine Vineyards. It has a very well defined bouquet of blackberry, raspberry coulis, crushed rose petals, hints of orange peel and minerals. This is much more detailed and classic in style than previous vintages. 

The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, a fine bead of acidity, and quite saline and spicy in the mouth. The fresh, quite pure finish lingers in the mouth. This is a very impressive wine, to the point where I feel that 'The Chocolate Block' no longer reflects the style of the wine. It is a great achievement that this level of quality is achieved with 2057 barrels of wine. Bravo.' – Neal Martin Report 2018, 92/100 

Comments from the winemakers: 

'We were so stoked to receive such a positive review from Neal. 2017 The Chocolate Block is our 3rd vintage out of Swartland. Older vines and a better understanding of how to elevate the drought conditions worked to our advantage. As one of South Africa’s most celebrated brands, our decision to source all its components in the Swartland has manifest itself very positively. The purity of fruit in the Syrah from the Porseleinberg vineyard, combined with the spice of Goldmine has seen this cuvée mature into the sophisticated wine it now is. We had nearly 3000 barriques in our cellar to select from, of which the finest 2057 were eventually assembled after a few weeks of tasting by our team of oenologists. Our principles of no acidification, fining with egg whites and no use of new oak with Syrah contribute to the amazing textural qualities of this wine.' – Marc Kent, Managing Partner & Technical Director of Boekenhoutskloof.

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