Cold winter conditions resulted in a slow start to the 2022 growing season with budding occurring 2-3 weeks later than average. This delay continued throughout with late veraison. Frequent rain showers ensured lush canopy growth which protected clusters from sporadic sunburn during the accelerated, hot December conditions and the heat peaks experience during January. This vintage showed lower-than-average yields and will be remembered for good fruit concentration and beautifully elegant wines.
The Chocolate Block 2022 marks our 21st vintage of this iconic wine and the first to fully utilise our new OXOline system within the renovated Maturation Cellar at Helderberg Winery.
Grapes are whole-berry fermented in a combination of concrete and stainless steel fermenters with no additions being made. After spontaneous fermentation, we transferred the juice to seasoned (95%) 225L French barrique and 5% (on Cabernet Sauvignon) in new 225L French Barrique. The élevage ranged between 12-14 months, depending on variety.
“We made an important decision in 2015 to shift from general appellation Western Cape to Wine of Origin Swartland. The significance is that we can directly manage the majority of the fruit being vinified for The Chocolate Block and farm the vineyards using our sustainable approach to viticulture. After more than a decade of working with these Swartland vineyards, our Porseleinberg and Goldmine farms represent about 60% of the fruit in the final blend. Notably, we can see that the wines have changed stylistically. It’s about the purity of fruit, elegance and structure.” – Marc Kent