The Chocolate Block 2018 (Boekenhoutskloof)

This wine has been on my radar for a while now, but only recently have I taken the plunge and picked up a bottle. A Southern-Rhone style blend, slightly tweaked with each vintage to take full advantage of seasonal variations, The Chocolate Block is full of new world character from South Africa’s Swartland region.

Considering its youth there is big, rich complexity, offering deep and well developed flavours. You’re initially hit with an intense nose full of rich spice and dark fruit, followed by hints of chocolate and liquorish.

The flavours on the palate offer a smorgasbord of dark cherries, ripe plumbs, blackberries, spice, tobacco and suggestions of savoury cured meets. There’s great balance of elegant tannin and acidity to give a rich yet smooth finish. A wine with bags of character and personality.

This drank fantastically with a rib-eye steak. A very safe pairing I know, but what more do you want!

Winery: Boekenhoutskloof

Grape variety: 69% Shiraz/Syrah, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Viognier, 9% Cinsault, 13% Grenache

Region: Swartland

Food pairing: Beef, lamb, hard and soft cheeses

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