The Chocolate Block, Boekenhoutskloof, Swartland, South Africa 2017

Chocolate Block.jpg
Chocolate Block.jpg

The Chocolate Block, Boekenhoutskloof, Swartland, South Africa 2017

18.95

The press seem to have fallen in love with Chocolate Block all over again and that can be put down to a couple of excellent substitutions by canny manager, Marc Kent. In comes new winemaker, Gottfried Mocke, bringing a fresh pair of hands to this iconic wine and in comes more fruit from the Swartland region, adding greater weight and substance to the blend. It’s a combination that has really paid dividends with the 2017 vintage, which is back on top form.


Press reviews:

Vinous:
“The 2017 The Chocolate Block contains less Syrah than previous vintages: 64%, plus 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier, the Cabernet being the only variety that saw new oak. It was matured 16 months in used oak. The important factor is that there is 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 2,057 barrels of wine. Bravo. Drink 2020-2035.” 92 points

Jancis Robinson MW: “This is the third vintage to be WO Swartland. (The fruit used to come substantially from Wellington but was not as fine.) 64% Syrah, 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Viognier. All of 2,057 barrels made, and aged at the Helderberg winery. The style of this popular wine has definitely evolved, with the fruit now much more serious and less blowsy. Really quite a complex nose. Fresh and lively. Round and satisfying at the beginning and then it tightens up on the end. Excellent quality in view of the quantity. Drink 2018-2020.” 16 points

Tim Atkin MW: “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. 2020-2026.” 93 points

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