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A robust, spicy, richly flavoured South African mix of syrah and mourvèdre, with a splash of viognier smoothening the palate nicely.
Product Code: SA14751
View all products by Boekenhoutskloof
One of the loveliest old farms on the Western Cape, Boekenhoutskloof lies at the edge of the valley in Franschhoek. The name means ‘ravine of the Boekenhout’, a local tree that is famed for its furniture. Indeed, Boekenhoutskloof’s super-elegant, iconic labels depict some of the handsome antique chairs which can still be seen in the old homestead, and represent the seven directors of whom chief winemaker and cellarmaster Marc Kent is one. Although the estate was established in 1776, it was properly restored and its vineyards planted in 1993, with vines now consisting of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, grenache, semillon and viognier.Marc Kent, a maverick spirit, has long been a pioneering figure in the South African wine industry; he was the first to put the syrah grape on the map with his now legendary 1997 vintage of Boekenhoutskloof Syrah. Under his quiet but determined leadership, Boekenhoutskloof has since become one of the leading names in South Africa, regularly winning awards for its wines. It has excelled in making not only fine wine but also overseeing the success of several well-respected brands, namely Porcupine Ridge and The Wolftrap. Having recently invested in new land in the Swartland (Porseleinberg), Boekenhoutskloof is showing its increased commitment to this area of the Cape which has produced much of the fruit for its range of wines, few of which are in fact made from Franschhoek fruit. The future looks set fair too, with the move of winemaker Gottfried Mocke from Cape Chamonix to Boekenhoutskloof to join his old friend Marc Kent in 2015.
South Africa is undoubtedly one of the world's most dynamic wine producers. Established winemakers re-emerged onto the international scene in the early 1990s, following the demise of the apartheid era, and new wines, wineries, highly qualified winemakers, and even new regions have appeared steadily ever since. This makes South Africa more exciting than ever, but more complicated, too. Most South African wines are varietally labelled - a key factor in any buying decision. Styles vary of course, and our notes aim to clarify this, but you will probably already know whether you like sauvignon blanc (now among the world's best), chardonnay, riesling, syrah, pinot noir, or cabernet.South Africa's most famous grapes - white chenin blanc and red pinotage - will be less familiar unless you are already a convert. South African chenins are quite different from those in the Loire - almost always dry, but ripe and full of flavour (often with the complexity that comes from the increasingly sought-after old-vine fruit and the use of oak). Pinotage, a South African creation, is for many a love-it-or-hate-it grape. Pinotage's 'parents' are pinot noir, which imparts its strawberry aromas and lovely texture in young wines, and more complex, farmyard characteristics in more mature examples, and cinsault, the southern French grape, which adds spice and body. It was developed in South Africa in 1926. Shiraz is now making a name for itself in South Africa with some superb examples bottled varietally and showing characteristics that often places it between the plush New World style pioneered by Australia and classic Rhône balance and elegance.More significant in South Africa than much of the New World (notably New Zealand and Chile) are blends, which make selection more complicated, as the style of the wine is less easy to anticipate. As in Australia and California, however, many of the best wines here are blends - a sign of maturity in the industry. Bordeaux blends were favoured initially but there are increasing numbers of Rhône and southern French influenced blends, including some eclectic mixes, many of which are among South Africa’s best wines.The RegionsThe vineyards of South Africa are at a latitude of about 35o south, with hot, dry Mediterranean-type summers tempered by oceanic influences in the south, particularly the very cold Benguela Current. Much of the country is mountainous or hilly with a multitude of terroirs for winemakers to play with. Soils are ancient and complex, and many and varied from region to region, and even vineyard to vineyard. Rainfall is very varied from one area to another, largely depending which side of a mountain or range a vineyard lies on, and in some parts irrigation is essential. South Africa’s rigorous Wine Of Origin scheme demarcates vineyard areas, including some single vineyards, and guarantees the geographical source of the wine much like the old French appellation contrôllée system recently renamed AOP, though there are no controls on yields and grape varieties as there are in France..Bordeaux-style blends are one of the Stellenbosch region's great strengths. Wines such as Kanonkop's Paul Sauer, Meerlust's Rubicon and Warwick's Trilogy are South African icons, produced over many years, and with proven ageing capacity. The striking Simonsberg mountain names the ward (or area) most highly sought after for these reds, but Stellenbosch produces a wide range of wine styles, from excellent chenin blancs and sauvignons to robust pinotage and Cape Blends.Paarl is its less-well-known neighbour, also warm, and best known for its robust but smooth reds. Franschhoek is understandably one of the most-visited towns in the Cape (with lots of French Huguenot history and some of the best restaurants in the region). It has a number of famous producers, most notably Boekenhoutskloof, but most do not produce exclusively from Franschhoek fruit. Cape Chamonix is an exception we rate highly, producing a wide range of wine styles from bubbly to cabernet franc led red blend Troika.The generally warmer Swartland region has been at the forefront of the development of Rhône varietals in South Africa, led by stars such as Eben Sadie, as well as home to some of the best old chenin blanc vines. Further north, and much cooler is Citrusdal, where fresher styles are produced and chenin blanc can achieve real finesse.The Cape peninsula, to the south of Cape Town itself, is home to Constantia, known for its cooler climate thanks to the influence of the two oceans that almost circle it. Here, sauvignon blanc and the Bordeaux grapes predominate, but there are lovely examples of aromatic varieties too, notably Klein Constantia's elegant riesling and its wonderful sweet muscat Vin de Constance, and the vibrant sauvignon blancs from Cape Point vineyards to the south. Rhône varietals are successful new additions.Elgin, en route to Hermanus, is another very cool region, very much up-and-coming for sauvignon blanc, as is Elim, which is even further south and the source of our former Exhibition Sauvignon. Robertson is almost due north of Elim, but way inland and far hotter. A small number of family producers manage to make excellent sauvignon here, too, but it is also a good source of chardonnay, increasingly pinot noir, and elegantly styled pinotage and Rhône varietals, not forgetting the excellent fortified muskadels which are unique to the Cape.The most important factor in deciding whether or not to buy is often the producer's name. This is easily achieved when some of the grandest 'old' names, such as Meerlust, Hamilton Russell, Kanonkop, and Klein Constantia, still rank among the country's best producers. Where it gets trickier is when the winery is new, has no track record, or the winemaker is not a household name.
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"A nice wine to drink with less Tannin which makes it more palatable. warm black cherry and currants smell, with a nice taste of plum and cherries mixed together with a sweet and low tannic finish.
Does go well with meat and cheese."
Mr Paul John (06-Mar-2019)
"What an enjoyable wine. Delicious with or without food. We will definitely be buying more of this. A very deserved 4 stars for this wine."
Mrs Caroline Hooper (12-Nov-2018)
"Not sure why this is "deservedly popular". Yes, it's spicy and rich but to my taste there was not much smoothing of the palate; I had the 2017 in late 2018, so perhaps it would have benefited from another year in the cellar and, to be fair, the second bottle improved over the 3 days it was open. Just too harsh and imbalanced to me.
Purchased as part of the Easy-Drinking Cape Reds mixed case, in which I much preferred the older and slightly dearer Painted Wolf ‘Peloton' Rouge and also found the marginally cheaper ‘Dirt Track' Cinsault much easier to drink."
Mr Emerson Roberts (04-Nov-2018)
"We were looking forward to tasting this and it did not disappoint. A deep red colour boded well and the layers of big flavours brought smiles on a snowy night in north east Scotland.A hearty wine -had with steak and venison casserole but also great on its own. I know my wife will now shun much of the wine rack and head for this so further stocks will be essential."
Mr Keith G Napier (10-Feb-2017)
The Daily Telegraph (25th Feb 2017)
"Made by the highly
respected Marc Kent, of Boekenhoutskloof, using Swartland grapes. A very
smooth, dark, intense wine that spills its flavour like an overflowing inkwell.
All thick black liquorice, blackberries and bitumen. - Victoria Moore"
Mr James Minneman (08-Mar-2015)
"Absolutely nothing wrong with it, exactly as you'd expect from a young, new world Rhone varietal. However, it's a good job I'm writing this as I drink it as it is entirely ordinary and will be forgotten in the myriad of similar wines by tomorrow."
Dr Philip Dodd (23-Feb-2015)
"Good value for money. At this price, it is fine to serve with spicy food and it coped well."
Mr Jamie Anderson (01-Jun-2014)
"A delicious wine. Well balanced with good depth of flavour. Good value for money. Will definitely buy again."
Mr Michael Pinhorn (09-May-2014)
"A super full-flavoured red at an amazing price - a great blend, with plenty of Syrah spiciness - long may this label continue."
Ms Diana Maxwell (26-Feb-2014)
"Our least favourite from the 'Big Reds' case. Perhaps we should have kept it awhile - we did not find it sumptious."
Mrs Anne Rice (31-Jan-2014)
"I'm still quite new to SA wines and in an effort to expand my drinking horizons further, I bought a bottle of wolftrap in my last order. I really enjoyed this wine. The fact that it says 'Syrah' and not 'Shiraz' on the label indicates the style is more akin to the rhone than the new world. Very impressed for the price. I will regularly buy again with confidence."
Mr Aron Hills (03-Jun-2013)
Woman & Home (4th Sep 2013)
Marc Kent's Rhône-style blend combines mostly syrah
with 23% mourvèdre and 2% of the white grape, viognier. It is a smoky,
textured number with flavours of plum and a hint of peachy sweetness.
- Tim Atkin
"I actually joined the Wine Society as a way of getting hold of this wine. It was on the sommelier list at L'atelier de Joel Robuchon in Covent Garden, I guess with two Michelin stars they don't serve rubbish. The 2011 was out of stock when I ordered so took the 2012; a lovely soft mouthful of a wine with bags of fruit and no harsh tannic edge. My wife, who is not a red drinker, totally loves this. Highly recommended at this price."
Mr Stephen Tittensor (01-May-2013)
"Chose this as one of the wines on my first WS order and loved it. Great bang for your buck and I will be ordering again."
Mr Glenn Naughton (15-Mar-2012)
"Big wine with loads of fruit that allows you to drink it on its own or with a hearty stew or good steak. Great value for money. Will buy again. If you like this, also try the Quinta da Lagoalva from Portugal - different grapes but fruit driven with a bit more spiciness."
Mr Robin D Smith (12-Feb-2012)
"Boekenhoutskloof offers a great range of different wines, and in terms of value-for-money the Wolftrap is exceptional. I am currently enjoying the wave of new world inspired syrah/grenache/mourvedre/viognier wines, and this is very good. I somehow seem to have finished my stock, and as the ultimate seal of approval, I am replenishing the cellar."
Mr Guy Laister (10-Dec-2011)
"Rich fruit flavours, smooth; and an enticing bouquet. Surely a winner in any blind tasting. Whenever we have served this to guests at dinner, they have loved it. Excellent value for money. Only slight reservation is the 14.5% alcoholic strength, though some might well think of that as a bonus!"
Mr Brian Woolland (18-May-2011)
"I agree with Dr. C's comments on the 2008 vintage. To me it's similar to a Chateauneuf du Pape and for £6.50 it's a steal! Very good blend of red grapes complimented with 2% Viogier to lift the nose. A full bodied spicy oaked wine of quality to please both the old and new world aficionados."
Mr Chris Barclay (29-Sep-2010)
"A big, full bodied South African blend of syrah, mourvedre and viognier.This wine has a lovely aroma, deep red colour and is well balanced with a lingering pleasant aftertaste. It is great with a steak or hearty winter casserole. One of my favourites."
Dr Malcolm Cunard (16-Nov-2009)
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