Price:  £23.95 £21.45 | Case Rate: £19.50
Ex Tax: £17.88

Boekenhoutskloof - The Chocolate Block 2017


  • Country: South Africa
  • Wine Region: Swartland
  • Grape: Proprietary Red Blend
  • Grape Percentage: Syrah (71%); Cabernet Sauvignon (8%); Grenache Noir (15%); Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%).
  • Alcohol Percentage: 14.70
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: Now -2025
Duty/Vat Paid
WA: 88 (2015) VS: 90 (2013) JR: 16 (2016) WS: 88 (2013) JP: 4.5 Stars (2013) TA: 92 (2013)

Wine tasting notes

The nose offers a brooding compôte of dark fruit, with hints of cured meat, black olive, cigar box, spice and Swartland violets. The palate shows red and black berry fruit with flavours of ripe red plums, blueberries, and black cherries with tar evident on the mid-palate. The violets and spice of the nose follow through with a vibrant acidity and a smooth, fleshy texture. Blackberries and dark chocolate linger on the finish with hints of sweet tobacco. Truly sublime!

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2015)88 pts

April 2017 - Reviewer : Neal Martin. The 2015 Chocolate Block is a blend of 71% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cinsault and 1% Viognier. Previous vintages have been Western Cape, this being the first W.O. to be Swartland. It has an attractive blackberry, cedar and dark chocolate scented bouquet, strangely the Cabernet Sauvignon making a big impression upon the Syrah. The palate is medium-bodied and quite austere compared for this label, tightly wound at first with a slightly attenuated finish. I was just seeking more substance and body on the finish that tapers off a little quickly.

Vinous/Antonio Galloni (2013)90 pts

May/June '15. By Stephen Tanzer. Deep ruby-red. Liqueur-like chocolatey grenache dominates the nose today, but fresher notes of cherry and violet emerge with air. A lovely spicy, southern-style wine with medium weight and nicely integrated acidity (3.8 pH); really nothing overripe about this wine. Finishes juicy and firmly tannic, spreading out to saturate the palate without leaving any impression of excess weight. (2016)16 pts

Tasted Oct 2017 - Now all Swartland, I see. Bright crimson. Definitely not chocolatey any more. Grainy and almost Grenachey but that is just 11% and Syrah dominates the blend. Chewy end. Still quite young. Grainy tannins. A little drying on the finish for now.

Wine Spectator (2013)88 pts

Web only 2015 - An old-school style, with signed alder, coffee and sweet earth notes peeking out from the core of steeped plum and black currant fruit. The slightly rugged finish lets loam and tobacco hints squeeze through. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Cinsault and Viognier.

John Platter (2013)4.5 stars

Crowd-pleasing bright cherry notes on deservedly successful (75,000+ cases) shiraz-led blend. Generous, pliable & plush, 2013 is juicy but with a tannic twist from 16 months in variety French oak. Balanced & rich, with long dry finish. Mainly from Swartland, with 3 other regions. Over-delivers.

Tim Atkin (2013)92 pts

A candidate for the most succesful South African wine brand of the last decade, this blend of Syrah with Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier is a crowd pleaser. Violets, red fruits, vanilla oak and a spicy, sustained finish, with just a hint of iodine. Drink: 2015-23

Vinification Notes

The name of this wine is shrouded in mystery, as the estate’s owner refuses to disclose its origin -maybe it’s the analogous hints of cocoa – who knows! The composition of this wine is tweaked from vintage to vintage, but this 2017 wine is made from a blend of 64% Syrah, 14% Grenache, 11% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and intriguingly just 1% of Viognier – all from Swartland vineyards planted on slate and granite soils. The Grenache was matured in 600 litre barrels 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 barrels, as well as 2500 litre French oak foudres for 12 months, then undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration before bottling. This is a legendary, alluring wine - only 2057 barrels have been produced – so why not be the first to get your hands one, and settle down with your favourite brand of dark chocolate. Don’t forget to put out the “Do Not Disturb “sign!