Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2017

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2017
£31.75 / bottle£361.95 / case (12 bottles)

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Country: South Africa
Grape variety: Semillon
Wine Type: White Wine
Wine region: Franschhoek
Wine style: Rich Creamy White
Wine Type: Vegan Wine
Drink: now to 2025
ABV: 13.85%

Tasting Notes

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.

Food Pairing

Recommended to drink with fish, especially more fleshy fish, chicken, mildly spiced curries, Thai and Japanese dishes

Producer's Notes

"The nose is complex and alluring with its exquisite bouquet of orange blossom, nectarine, beeswax and lemongrass. The entry is exceptionally smooth with the white peach, mandarin and lemon curd character of the nose following through with delicate nuances of lime zest, root ginger, dill and tarragon. The wine is full-bodied and opulent yet focused with balanced acidity lending verve on an intense, seamless mid-palate. Hints of poached pear, chamomile, fenugreek and fresh fennel linger on a vibrant, saline finish."


17 points   Sep 2019
"Well-balanced, attractive fruity nose without the aggressive green streak of many other South African Semillons. Sweet and creamy with no rough edges but real structure and ageability. One of the world’s best Semillons?"

94 points      Decanter     May 2020
"Perfumed honeysuckle joins subtle citrus, white peach and beeswax, with a savoury edge of lanolin. Made in an oxidative style - the wine is matured for 14 months in 80% French oak barriques and 20% concrete eggs at low temperatures without adding sulphur - the palate focus is all on texture. Complex flavours of white tea and ginger, lemon flesh and lime oil, pear and roasted nuts lead to a saline-tinged finish."

89+ points     Oct 2019
"The nose of the 2017 Semillon has a soft mineral edge to the citrus blossom and hints of pineapple, and it's leesy and pleasurable, with complex aromatics of cheese rind, blanched almonds and pineapple blossoms. The palate has a rich texture with a firm mouthfeel, while the oak and concrete egg fermenters add to the depth and complexity of the wine. The medium to long finish is bright and zippy, leaving the palate clean and showing a focused structure that is in balance. 12,000 bottles were made to tell the story of the old vines of the Franschhoek Valley."

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.

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