Boekenhoutskloof ‘The Chocolate Block’ Red Blend 2019, W.O. Swartland, South Africa

2019 vintage – Syrah 71%; Grenache 11%; Cinsault 9%; Cabernet Sauvignon 8%; Viognier 1%. The effect of the drought has now become even more apparent, making correct picking dates crucial to secure the very best fruit quality. With yields being even lower than usual, the quality was exceptional with very concentrated berries and surprisingly good natural analysis. The Swartland vineyards are renowned for their slate and granitic soils, creating tension and vibrancy in the wine. The Grenache was matured in 600L barriques to retain its unmistakable fruity aromas and a pronounced freshness. The wine matures in 1st-(all of the Cabernet Sauvignon), 2nd-, and 3rd-fill French oak barriques as well as 2,500L French oak foudres for 12 months before it undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration. Tasting notes: The nose is dense and brooding, yet opulent, with its compote of dark, ripe plums and blackberry and attractive whiffs of liquorice, violets, coca and mint. The black fruit and perfume of the nose follow through onto a rich, savory palate with flavors of dark cherry, red currant, black olives and cured meat. Fine-grained, svelte tannins are in perfect balance with the lemony acidity, lending complexity to the mid-palate. The wine is full-bodied with a rich, smooth mouthfeel. The finish is charry and long, with hints of maraschino cherry, pimento olives, and sweet tobacco.