The nose offers a brooding compote of dark fruit with an abundance of perfume and savoury whiffs of cured meat, black olives and cigar box. The palate shows red and dark berry fruit with flavours of ripe, red plums, blueberries, black cherries and tar evident on the mid-palate. The violets and spice of the nose follows through with a vibrant acidity and smooth, fleshy texture. Blackberries and liquorice linger in the mouth with hints of dark chocolate and sweet tobacco.
The 2017 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (64%), Grenache (14%), Cinsault (11%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), and Viognier (1%). Due to the ongoing drought conditions, yields were again much lower, resulting in higher berry concentration and healthy grapes. Phenolic ripeness was easily achieved, with the harvesting of grapes taking place earlier, during the cooler stages of the harvest period. The Swartland vineyards are renowned for its slate and granitic soils, creating tension and vibrancy in the wine. The increased volume of both Grenache and Cinsault in the blend certainly enhances the flavour profile significantly, with Grenache contributing exceptional fruit purity and Cinsault lending floral and ripe strawberry notes. Syrah remains our structural backbone. The Grenache was matured in 600L 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 2500L French oak foudres for 12 months before it undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration. 2057 barriques were selected for our 2017 vintage.