Boekenhoutskloof Releases 2019 Vintage

Boekenhoutskloof's Barrel Cellar Building

© photo provided

Boekenhoutskloof's Barrel Cellar Building

Boekenhoutskloof's Barrel Cellar Building

© photo provided

Boekenhoutskloof is a South African force to be reckoned with – so is the estate’s winemaker Marc Kent. He arrived at the farm in 1994, tasked with planting its first vines and making wines. And wines he made: his first vintage from estate-grown grapes was in 1997 – the same year he launched one of South Africa’s most popular wine brands: Porcupine Ridge.

Successful brands at every price

While he is a well-versed player in making such affordable and widely-distributed wines, he landed a coup with a premium brand that is synonymous with Boekenhoutskloof and first launched in 2002: a sultry, smooth and meaty red called Chocolate Block that sells out as soon as it hits the market. This was followed by another brand – Wolftrap – in 2003.

The wines under the Boekenhoutskloof label, however, are in the fine wine bracket and Kent unveiled the 2019 vintage this week.

Rollercoasters and elegance

Kent said that vintage variation in South Africa is “like a rollercoaster:” the dream vintage of 2015 was followed by three years of severe draught and 2019 also has its fair share of drama: there were fires in Elgin and Frankschoek and the long awaited rain – a relief and a blessing – also meant that some vineyards struggled with rot induced by the humidity.

“2018 was very, very dry – then the dams filled up. What came were good rains which really helped the Cabernet to ripen – and people had almost forgotten how to deal with rain. It was wet so there was botrytis, there was uneven ripening, low yields but key was viticulture, picking date and sorting.” Kent, who also is the man to have introduced the first ever mechanised sorting table to South Africa in 1997, has come to the conclusion that “2019 is a very elegant vintage” which produced “very elegant wines.”

His wines are expressive and have real personality – as well as nuance.

READ THE TASTING NOTES HERE

 

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