In a nutshell: A trailblazing South African red blend and a reliable favourite.
The lowdown: With its alluring name this is a wine with which the makers, Boekenhoutskloof, have achieved near iconic status. It's an intricate blend of five grape varieties which vary in proportion from one vintage to the next, but always led by Syrah which comprises nearly 70% in the 2018. The other grapes being Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. The wine itself shows a beautiful richness of mocha, chocolate and blackberries along with a fresh spiced black pepper. It's full bodied, but with fine tannins that give a silky mouthfeel on its way to the rich and lingering finish.
When to drink: Smooth and luxurious it's perfectly ready for you to pull the cork straight away. If you want to keep it for a year or two it'll still be wonderful.
Without doubt one of the leading South African wineries Boekenhoutskloof is situated in a remote corner of the scenic Franschhoek Valley .
Whilst first established back in 1776 it wasn't until 1993, under new ownership, that the completely renovated vineyard and estate started to build their current reputation. Marc Kent is the man who's responsible for their success. Completely committed to high quality and attention to detail he's, nevertheless, a keen experimenter and always willing to try something new. He was one of the first to establish Syrah as a significant South African variety in the late 1990s.
Their famed Chocolate Block is their flagship wine. Each vintage is a slighlty different blend, using the best quality fruit in each year, but is always largely based an Syrah. And while red wines are their best known products, the white they make using the Semillon grape is also well worth seeking out.