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Boekenhoutskloof in the beautiful Franschhoek valley in South Africa is perhaps best known for its iconic red blend, The Chocolate Block, but as I like to bring you wines that are less widely available, I selected this amazing Semillon for the portfolio. Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for making fine furniture. The Boekenhoutskloof label features seven chairs, in the words of the winery "to pay tribute to the skills of 18th century craftsmen and their achievements in creating beauty from natural sources, just like the pursuit of fine wine-making." Marc Kent is the chief winemaker and driving force behind Boekenhoutskloof. He likes to experiment with the unconventional but his principal commitment is to quality.
This fabulous white wine is increasingly popular with customers. Bright gold in colour with the richness and texture of white Burgundy, this wine is produced from Semillon which, like Chardonnay, has an affinity to oak and is very nutty and minerally on the nose with hints of lemon, apples and fresh straw. The Semillon is mainly from one of the oldest South Africa vineyards, planted in 1902; the old vines and the alluvial soils add to the complexity, texture and ageing potential of the wine. In 2017 3% Muscat of Alexandria was added for its floral notes; in some vintages Sauvignon Blanc is added for its acidity.
Boekenhoutskloof wines are well made using organic principles and minimal intervention; that approach and the use of grapes from old bush vines makes for intense flavours and good structure. The dominant flavours are lemon and minerality. The wine has been matured in oak but at low temperatures so there is little extraction and the effect on flavours is more buttery than spice and toast. The wine has a lovely creamy texture and a richness which is balanced by a tangy acidity. Lovely long and complex finish. Delicious.
This wine, which usually needs six or seven years before reaching its peak, is drinking beautifully now and will develop a little more over the next few years.
Serving suggestion - do not serve this wine too cold as you will hide all its complex aromas and flavours.
Recommended to drink with fish, especially more fleshy fish, chicken, mildly spiced curries, Thai and Japanese dishes
From the producers of the iconic Chocolate Block, this beautiful Semillon has a lovely creamy, rich texture balanced by a tangy long and complex finish. Nutty on the nose with hints of lemon, apples and fresh straw, the dominant flavours are lemon and minerality. Made according to organic principles and with minimal intervention, this wine has an intense and buttery texture. To appreciate its lovely flavours, don't serve it too cold. Delicious.