Vinification & Winemaker’s Comments
The 2016 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (79%), Grenache Noir (11%), Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Cinsault (3%) and Viognier (1%). Due to the looming drought conditions, yields were much lower, resulting in higher berry concentration and healthier grapes. Phenolic ripeness was easily achieved, with the harvesting of grapes taking place earlier, during the cooler stages of the harvest period. The increased volume of Grenache Noir in the blend enhances the flavour profile significantly, with Syrah being our structural backbone. The Grenache was matured in 600L barrels to retain its unmistakable fruity aromas and vibrancy. The wine matures in 1st (all of the Cabernet Sauvignon), 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels as well as 2500L French oak foudres for 16 months before it undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration. 1 979 barriques were selected for our 2016 vintage.
The nose is exceptionally perfumed with an abundance of complex red and dark berry fruit, violets and intense aromas of white pepper. Dark brooding fruit follows through onto a structured, opulent palate with notes of cardamom, cumin, cloves and black pepper. The midpalate is rich, textured and balanced with integrated acidity, cocoa powdery tannins and a definite cedarwood character derived from French oak. White pepper lingers on a smooth, lifted finish.