Boekenhoutskloof 2021s: ‘World Class’ – Tim Atkin

Mar 1, 2024 | All, Local wines | 0 comments

Boekenhoutskloof, established in 1994 and driven by the visionary Marc Kent, can be regarded as the starting point of the modern-day South African wine movement. With the support of Marc’s winemaking team – including Gottfried Mocke – Boekenhoutskloof has reached a new level of excellence

2021 is regarded as the vintage to stock up on by international critics, local winemakers and industry commentators. Their latest release is from this exceptional vintage and, as a set, the wines are regarded as benchmarks for Franschhoek, Swartland and Stellenbosch.

Boekenhoutskloof Syrah is the wine that started it all. From 100% Swartland fruit, the 97-point2021 is exquisite. It’s tightly coiled and persistent, with Tim Atkin calling it ‘world class’, while Neal Martin marks it as a ‘serious Syrah’. Made from 90% Porseleinberg fruit, it’s wonderfully dense, with 65% whole bunch adding savoury freshness and spice. 

The 95-point (TA) Boekenhoutskloof Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon is more ‘Old World inspired’, according to Neal Martin. It’s brimming with cassis, graphite-laced tannins and focused acidity. This wine is just growing in stature and 2021 is certainly one of the greatest vintages, if not the greatest, for Cab. 

The Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon contains 12% Cabernet Franc and is the more elegant and seductive of the two, showing blackcurrant leaf and freshness in spades. This 96-point (TA) Cab is a Franschhoek benchmark, and the best red wine from the valley. Super limited – email to request an allocation. 

The wine that put old-vine Franschhoek Sémillon on the map is the Boekenhoutskloof Sémillon. It’s become an international reference point for South African whites and has an exceptional track record. The 2021 shows crystalline fruit, perfectly judged oaking and chiselled acidity. Produced from three old-vine certified vineyards, the oldest planted in 1902, ‘This will be a serious, long-term Sémillon, and I know from first-hand experience how brilliantly they can age in bottle, asserts Neal Martin. Also extremely limitedrequest your allocation here.

Tasting Notes:

Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2021

‘Given that 90% of its raw material comes from Porseleinberg – the other 10% comes from Boekenhoutskloof’s Roundstone property – it’s no surprise that this is such an impressive Syrah. Fermented with 65% whole bunches, it combines fynbos, lavender and Asian spice aromas with a palate of white pepper, barbecued meat, oregano and blackberry framed by sappy, granular tannins. World class.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2023, 97/100

Boekenhoutskloof Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

‘Gottfried Mocke sources this Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon from two growers – one on the Helderberg, the other in Stellenbosch Kloof – to produce what is always the denser than its companion Franschhoek bottling. Inky and grippy, with top notes of menthol, mocha and dried herbs, lots of energy and vibrancy and a core of plum, blueberry and cassis.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2023, 95/100

Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

‘Boekenhoutskloof’s Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon is picked two weeks later than its Stellenbosch stable mate and is a fresher, more refined wine. Benefitting from the inclusion of 12% Cabernet Franc from the vines around the winery, it has aromas of graphite, violet and eucalyptus, palate-caressing, granular tannins and red berry and blackcurrant leaf flavours.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2023, 96/100

Boekenhoutskloof Sémillon 2021

‘Boekenhoutskloof’s world-class Semillon uses grapes from three distinct blocks in Franschhoek, planted in 1902, 1936 and 1942, combining these with 3% Muscat d’Alexandrie. Showing more acidity and restraint than the stunning 2020, and less of the struck match character, it has notes of lemongrass, custard and beeswax and a core of chiselled acidity. Needs more time.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2023, 96/100

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