The latest Boekenhoutskloof Syrah showcases the quality of the dry 2016 vintage in the Swartland. The harvest produced smaller berries with a greater ratio of tannin to juice and much more concentration. Now completely in the hands of Gottfried Mocke, it is the standout wine amongst Boekenhoutskloof’s 2016 releases. Once again, it confirms their standing as a benchmark South African producer.
With 80% of the fruit from Porseleinberg and 20% from their Goldmine vineyard, the 2016 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah is a more elegant sibling versus the grunt and power of the Porseleinberg Syrah. It is taut and concentrated with a riveting structure that supports the poised and backward fruit. Gottfried’s craftsmanship brings us a fine-boned and elegant wine which consolidates their shift to more classically-styled Syrah.
From their Franschhoek vineyards we have two wines. Firstly, the age-worthy Boekenhoutskloof Sémillon 2016 which is from vines planted in 1902 and 1936 and is probably SA’s most underrated white. The 2016 is tighter with just a touch more grip – it’s a wine for the collector. The latter is the Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. As the more classic of the two Cabernets, it has an established track record and is one of the finest reds from the region. It impresses with sophistication and power while the fruit is underpinned by earthy complexity.
Rounding out their well-defined regional offering is the relatively new Boekenhoutskloof Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. Now in its third vintage, it is made in a more modern and accessible style. It offers plush fruit rounded out by attractive new oak. It is a wonderful expression of the vibrancy of Helderberg fruit.
Boekenhoutskloof, Syrah 2016
Using fruit from two exceptional Swartland sources – Goldmine and mostly Porseleinberg – this foudre-aged Syrah is fresh, subtle and intensely aromatic, as schist Syrahs often tend to be. Complex, floral and refined with remarkable freshness and palate length. Drink: 2020-2028. – Tim Atkin MW, 95/100
Boekenhoutskloof, Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
A Cabernet that captures the power and density of Helderberg fruit, even from the cooler False Bay side, this includes 7% Cabernet Franc for perfume. Powerful and plush, with ripe blackberry and damson fruit and plenty of new wood. Drink: 2020-2030. – Tim Atkin MW, 93/100
Boekenhoutskloof, Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
One of two region-specific Cabernets in the Boekenhoutskloof line up, this is the more austere and focused of the pair. Intensely coloured, with refined oak handling, black cherry and cassis fruit and the concentration to age further in bottle. Drink: 2020-2028. – Tim Atkin MW, 94/100
Boekenhoutskloof, Sémillon 2016
Four vineyards, all of them in Franschhoek, supply fruit for this old vine Semillon (with 2% Muscat de Frontignan). Subtle and leesy, with some herbal and orange zest notes and a wild, naturally fermented undertone. The new oak doesn’t show. Drink: 2018-2024. – Tim Atkin MW, 93/100