The respected wine critic, Tim Atkin, named Boekenhoutskloof’s Gottfried Mocke the Winemaker of the Year in his South Africa Special Report 2020. He would have been making that decision just as Gottfried Mocke was making this vintage of Chocolate Block. Although a perennial favourite with a worldwide following, we think this might be one of all-time favourite releases of it.
Chocolate Block has always been a boundary-pushing cult wine. This vintage, the wine has been certified vegan, meaning no animal products have been used during the fining process. Made from 100% Swartland (the region that made South African wine cool) fruit, Chocolate Block is a wine that keeps adapting to stay ahead of the game. And that’s exactly why we love it so much…
A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier, aged for over a year in barrels of different sizes and ages depending upon the grapes. Although the backbone is still Syrah, the Grenache and Cinsault components provide more elegance, red fruit and floral notes. Drawing the cork, you’ll discover a new take on the Chocolate Block concept, which is fresher and livelier. Yes, it still hints to that dark chocolate, black olive, biltong, blackberry, gingerbread-spiced cocoa, blackcurrant, graphite and cigar box character, but now it also has an undulating undercurrent of cherry liqueur, raspberry jam, ripe plum, wild strawberries, dried cranberries, rose petals, violets, mint, orange peel and tobacco. Although it will continue to improve for a decade or more, this wine no longer feels like it needs to be laid down for so long, so we recommend cracking on into it now.
Established in 1776 and renovated in 1993, Boekenhoutskloof now defines Franschhoek. When the maverick Marc Kent isn’t making some of South Africa’s finest wines, he’s looking after the local flora and fauna, including the local porcupine population and a rare plant only found at Boekenhoutskloof and the neighbouring farm.