There aren’t many more sought after wines from South Africa than The Chocolate Block from Boekenhoutskloof. The nose is a compote of dark fruit with an abundance of perfume and savoury whiffs of cured meat, black olives and cigar box. The palate of The Chocolate Block 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 2018 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (69%), Grenache Noir (13%), Cinsault (9%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%) and Viognier (1%). The effect of the drought has now become even more apparent, making correct picking dates crucial to secure the very best fruit quality. Time spent in the vineyard was therefore essential to ensure timeous picking at optimum phenolic ripeness. With yields being even lower than usual, the quality was exceptional with very concentrated berries and surprisingly good natural analysis. The nose is dense and brooding, yet opulent, with its compote of dark, ripe plums and blackberry and attractive whiffs of liquorice, violets, cocoa and mint. The black fruit and perfume of the nose follow through onto a rich, savoury palate with flavours of dark cherry, red currant, black olives and cured meat. Fine grained, svelte tannins are in perfect balance with the lemony acidity, lending complexity to the mid-palate. The wine is full-bodied with a rich, smooth mouthfeel. The finish is charry and long, with hints of maraschino cherry, pimento olives and sweet tobacco.