Boekenhoutskloof, "The Chocolate Block"

€33.99

This is a beautiful wine: smooth, red, juicy and rich. You could call it opulent, but it is better than that, as it has a wonderful balance and freshness that comes from the old vines that provide its fruit. And it's certainly classy, with complex flavours of mixed spices, plum, blackberry and cocoa, knit very well together and a suave savoury note from the French oak barrels on a very long finish.

Iconic, boutique, niche and extremely popular, this field blend is one of the most unlikely success stories in recent wine history. Made from grapes grown in a field that they didn't own, the wine tasted to some people as though it had had chocolate added to it! Then the rumours (possibly started in the winery...) began to circulate that they did add chocolate... which of course they don't. And it went from being impossible to buy because they made so little of it, to a staple of the company's output. They now make in excess of 2000 barrels per annum, each of which holds a minimum of 300 bottles - do the math - there is no more 'boutique' as anyone would read a regular interpretation of the word!

It started life, in the leased vineyard, as a wine from Franschhoek, which is to the east of Stellenbosch and Cape Town. These days however, the fruit for this wine and for many of the other Syrah-based wines made by Boekenhoutskloof, are from old, gnarly, dry-grown vines in Swartland, way over to the north and west of the Cape, some 90km away from the winery. However, they aren't slow - this is a quest for the best fruit that the Cape has to offer and as it happens, for their red blend styles, this is they way that they have found to be best for them. The proof is certainly in a very fine pudding here.

"Shortly into taking notes on this wine, I gave up and wrote, “Oh yum.” With less syrah and more grenache and cinsault than the 2016, it’s super-floral and spicy, with a crushed-berry freshness to the fruit that makes it immediately appealing. Stay with it for a few moments and it develops the savor of a steak cooked black and blue, the bloody tang of the meat and smokiness of the grill marks adding a deep savor. Poured blind, it’d be easily confused for a top Rhône grenache—at least, until the price is revealed." 93 points, Wine & Spirits Magazine

"One of South Africa’s most successful brands, selling at a price that many producers can only dream of, this Syrah-based cuvée with Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier is smooth, youthful and floral, with Asian spices, bramble and blueberry fruit, some tannic backbone and the potential to age further in bottle. 2020-26." 93 points, Tim Atkin MW

Country: South Africa

Grape(s): Viognier, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon

Style: Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Iconic, Full, Complex, Broad

Best food matches: Venison, Steak, Red Meats, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Game, Fine Dining, Beef

Alcohol: 14.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.50.

We charge €7.50 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

★★★★★
Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
★★★★★
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
★★★★★
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
★★★★★
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
★★★★★
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
★★★★★
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
★★★★★
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
★★★★★
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.