Boekenhoutskloof was established 1776 and today, in the hands of talented maverick winemaker Marc Kent, they are still kicking off great things, like the behemoth that is Chocolate Block, known in markets the world over (thanks to its 500,000 bottles per year). The 2015 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Viognier and for the first time, this is all Swartland fruit. The 2015 also had a greater splash of Grenache than previous years, which is noticeable up-front on the massive florality here (the Grenache was matured in 600 L barrels to retain its fruity aromas and vibrancy). Mulberry, brooding black plum and kirsch on the full palate, one smooth and housed by fine, firm tannins. This is a polished wine, but not overtly so, with a textural fruitcake spicing throughout to a dark mocha finish. The wine matures in 1st (all the Cabernet Sauvignon), 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels (eight 2500 L French oak foudres) for 16 months before it undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration.
Pale straw yellow in colour, this wine provides a subtle perfume of grapefruit, herbs and citrus. In the mouth, guava adds more depth. There is fresh acid and very good length.
Pedro Parra is, quite literally, THE doctor of dirt. He has dug 25000 calicatas (soil pits) around the world and consulted for numerous wineries, including Okanagan Valley's Haywire. After many years advising others how and where to grow wines, this is his own project, based in his homeland of Concepcion, the original site of vines in Chile but long since forgotten as a wine growing region. This is a field blend of Malbec, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Pais and Carménère from the red granite and fine quartz soils of six dry farmed vineyards in Itata and Cauquenes, and vines 60-100 years old. After native ferment and 1 year in cement and stainless, this was lightly filtered before bottling. Thick and dense on the concentrated palate, with smoked berries, dried blueberries, tobacco, roasted meats, charcoal, leather all textured with stony grip and fine peppery spice, and cut with a balsamic sappiness. Still very much in youth, this wine-of-place is still fist tight after being opened overnight. I suggest decanting and grilled lamb for current consumption, but recommend cellaring for a few years for maximum enjoyment.
Vibrant rose-pink in the glass with bright strawberry and rhubarb up-front before a vibrant palate of juicy red fruit with citrus hints over distinct mineral undertones that rule through the dry close.
Light ruby. Classic red Burgundy nose of small red fruits and spicy notes, discreet oak. Medium-bodied, flavourful with great acidity and balance. Energetic finish of very good length. Drink or hold up to a few years.
The nose shows a bright range of cassis, cherry, cedar cigar box, cloves and cinnamon. The cassis fruit shines on the palate with a herbs, liquorice, savoury spices, earth and freshening acidity.
Spiced red fruits fill this DOC Bardolino, a Veneto-area blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Sangiovese. Nutmeg and cinnamon lead, followed closely by tart cherries, mulberries and red apples. Tannins are dusty and sparse, encouraging a slight chill and partnering with mushroom dishes or toss it in the picnic basket on your way to the beach.