4 ½ Stars 2022 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Syrah-led Rhone-ish blend (dab of cab) from Swartland. 20 (94 pts)’s upfront red & black fruit purity (combo spontaneous & inoculated wholeberry ferment in concrete & steel) shows cherries, plums, spiced with perfume, coriander& smoked meat. Mostly older oak adds to soft tannins. Already drinking well.
92 pts Wine Spectator 4/14/22
A stylish red that’s fresh and focused, showing expressive aromas and flavors of blackberry, dried lavender, espresso and iron in a well-knit, medium- to full-bodied frame. The long, creamy finish is loaded with spice box and sweet smoke accents. Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. Drink now through 2027.
The quest to understand the name of this wine and the wine itself is now the stuff of legend. While we are not about to reveal all, we can say that the style of the wine is a reflection of our belief that the Cape, with its Mediterranean climate, is eminently suited to blended reds.
The make-up of this wine is tweaked from vintage to vintage to best reflect the season and the ancient vines of great character that are an integral part of the wine’s charm and personality.
“The Chocolate Block 2020 relied vastly on our own fruit from Porseleinberg and Goldmine farms – this had an immense efect on the flavour and energy of this unique wine. Porseleinberg offers purity of fruit where Goldmine brings structure. The vineyards on these two stellar properties have becomefwell-established and are beginning to show their potential.” – Marc Kent
Syrah is the predominant variety on both farms and accounts for a 73% contribution to the blend. Grenache (11%) from bush-vines on Porseleinberg is the subtle superstar of the blend that offers a perfumy brightness and allows the wine to deliver a gastronomic texture. The moderate conditions were a welcome relief for Swartland Cabernet Sauvignon (7%). The cooler, balanced growing season was particularly beneficial in providing a more elegant, old-world style of the variety. In summary: 2020 is a vintage which shows exceptional balance and texture with a youthful elegance. These hallmarks certainly favour significant ageing potential.
The nose is dark and brooding and entices with its black fruit aromas and hints of pepper and spice. The blueberry and blackberry of the nose follow through onto a layered, full palate with flavours of dark plums and notes of dust, graphite and cocoa nib. The wine is focused and elegant, with fresh yet integrated acidity and fine-grained tannins, adding to exceptional structure. Black currant and milk chocolate linger on a silky finish.