Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2022

Tasting Notes

Syrah 77% • Grenache 9% • Cinsault 8% • Cabernet Sauvignon 5% • Viognier 1%

Boysenberry and dark cherry dominate an inviting nose, with gentle scents of violets and rose petals and intriguing whiffs of exotic spice. The nose’s brambly black and red fruits follow through with flavors of ripe plums, black currant, dried cranberries, and blueberries. Slight hints of cured meat and espresso add complexity to the round, silky mid-palate. The mouth-coating texture of dark milk chocolate is balanced with fine, powdery tannins and fresh yet integrated acidity. The wine is medium-bodied, lithe, and elegant, with licorice and subtle hints of crushed coriander and black cardamom lingering on a smooth, soft finish.

Winery: Boekenhoutskloof
Varietal: Red Blend
SKU: BOECHO2022 Categories: ,
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block



5 Stars 2024 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
One of SA’s international big hitters, with nearly 200,000 cases made, including smaller (375 ml) & larger bottle formats. From Swartland, 22 ***** (95 pts) seamless syrah-led Rhone-ish blend (dab of cab), wholeberry ferment in concrete & steel, 5% new oak, down from 10% in 21(94 pts) mostly barrique. Juicy red & black fruit seasoned with fresh herbs, fynbos & earth.

93 pts Tim Atkin MW 2023
A skilfully blended and packaged wine that manages to shift large volumes at an extremely profitable price, The Chocolate Block is a clever assemblage of mostly Syrah from the Goldmine and Porseleinberg vineyards with 9% Grenache, 8% Cinsault, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Viognier.
Fleshy, perfumed and smooth, it has sweet goji berry and summer pudding fruit, velvety tannins, scented cinnamon oak and
a fresh, lifted finish. 2024-29

91 pts James Suckling Oct 2023
Bay leaves, currants, and violets on the nose with a touch of iron. It’s medium- to full-bodied, balanced and supple. I like the herb and peppercorn freshness. Blend of 77% syrah, 9% grenache, cinsault, 5% cabernet sauvignon and 1% viognier. Drink now.

90 pts Vinous Sept 2023
The 2022 The Chocolate Block comprises Syrah (77%, which is slightly higher than usual), Grenache (9%), Cinsault (8%), Cabernet Sauvignon (5%) and Viognier (1%), with around 70% of the production estate-grown. It is a whole berry fermented, matured in 95% used French oak using the “OXO” system to rotate the barrels. It has an attractive, well-defined bouquet with brambly red fruit, mocha, and crushed violet scents (no aromas of dark chocolate). The medium-bodied palate has powdery tannins, very well-balanced and fresh, with a surprisingly tensile, engaging
graphite-tinged finish. An exemplar of how to create a hugely popular brand whilst upholding quality.

Winemaker Notes

The Chocolate Block 2022 marks our 21st vintage of this iconic wine and the first to fully utilize our new OXOline system within the renovated Maturation Cellar at Helderberg Winery. Cold winter conditions resulted in a slow start to the 2022 growing season, with budding occurring 2-3 weeks later than average. This delay continued throughout with late veraison. Frequent rain showers ensured lush canopy growth, which protected clusters from sporadic sunburn during the accelerated, hot December conditions and the heat peaks experienced in January. This vintage showed lower-than-average yields with perfumed, aromatic fruit and elegant with balanced tannins.

We made an important decision in 2015 to shift from general appellation Western Cape to Wine of Origin Swartland. The significance is that we can directly manage most of the fruit being vinified for The Chocolate Block and farm the vineyards using our sustainable approach to viticulture. After over a decade of working with these Swartland vineyards, our Porseleinberg and Goldmine farms represent about 60% of the fruit in the final blend. Notably, we can see that the wines have changed stylistically. With our acquisition of Partnership Vineyard in ’22, we have further expanded our footprint in the Swartland and our goal of eventually
filling our fermenters with our own sustainably farmed vineyards. It’s about the purity of fruit, elegance, and structure.

Grapes are whole-berry fermented in a combination of concrete and stainless steel fermenters with no additions. After spontaneous fermentation, we transferred the juice to seasoned (95%) 225L French barrique and 5% (on Cabernet Sauvignon) in the new 225L French Barrique. The élevage ranged between 12 and 14 months, depending on the variety.

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