BB Review: The Chocolate Block 2015
Just like an artist mixing her paint until she gets the perfect colour, winemakers will blend wine made from different grapes to get something that's perfectly delicious. For this round, we brought three different blends to the table. How does The Chocolate Block stack up? Let's find out, BBs! 👩🏻🔬🍷
BOTTLE: The Chocolate Block 2015 – South Africa
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £21.99 from Angela's neighbour, Waitrose
ABV & TECH SPECS: Syrah (71%); Grenache Noir (15%); Cabernet Sauvignon (8%); Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%) and 14.5% ABV.
ABOUT THIS BLEND: This wine is made by the renowned winery Boekenhoutskloof that was established in 1776. You may have seen other famous wines by these guys, including the popular Porcupine Ridge.
The winery focuses on making wines from favoured Rhône valley grapes such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Viognier, alongside Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sémillion.
Each vintage of the iconic Chocolate Block is a different blend of grapes from across their vineyard sites. This 2015 vintage is unusual in that all grapes have been sourced from the Swartland region - a very up-and-coming one to keep your eye out for. The blend is predominantly Syrah but also has Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and a dash of Viognier, and has been aged for 16 months in French oak.
BEHIND THE NAME: The farms, in which the vineyards are found, are named after "ravine of the Boekenhout" (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree which is almost as renowned for furniture-making as the region's grapes are for drinking.
WHY ANGELA BROUGHT THIS BLEND TO THE TABLE: The quest to understand the name of this wine and the wine itself is now the stuff of legend – it's even launched a graphic novel! How can you not want to drink that?!
CARO: This wine has got black magic written all over it! Starting with its mysterious deep arse black ruby colour, and its enticing scents of spices, herbs & meat - is that roast chicken I can smell? A sip takes me back to those buttery, spicy, and oh-so-morish biscuits made in my neck of the woods: Speculoos! It’s warming and comforting, with a sassy personality to it, delivering & firing in all directions to create an all-round treat for the senses! This said, you might want a bottle buddy, as this wine does pack a hell of a punch!
ANGELA: This mighty wine is earthy, herbaceous and packed full of powerful blackcurrants and cocoa on the aroma. To taste, it’s got a little grip but it's not as overpowering as it would lead you to believe, and it meanders off into a smooth, delicately bitter and juicy wine that would love a steak, ragu or a log cabin.
KATE: This has a bit of stink on it, which I'm very pleased about. I can smell some plum, some bee pollen, some booze... all things I quite like. When it comes to the guzzling, this wine is objectively very good, but it's kinda like the Jamie Dornan of wine. You know, too good looking, too delicious. Like if this wine was a guy, he'd definitely have a six pack and drive a Porsche, and I'd just like to go on the record as saying that I've never dated someone with a six pack. I'd flirt with six pack! I'd maybe make out with a six pack! But at the end of the night, I'm taking my own cab home. All that to say that this wine is deep, dark, strong and delicious, but it doesn't have enough of a freak factor to keep my interest for an entire evening.
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? This is a terrific wine for the BBs. We all like it a great deal but we're not going to fight over who gets to finish the bottle.
Please note: After some confusion on the 'gram, Kate would like to make it clear that she means Jamie Dornan in The Fall, not 50 Shades, which she has not seen. In The Fall, Jamie was complex, oh-so-handsome, but totally lethal. A bit like this wine.... I mean 14.5%! Baby girl, get outta there before you get hurt!