Marc Kent has built up an international reputation as one of South Africa's greatest winemakers. His small batch production ideology and passionate winemaking have created a demand for his wine that is the envy of his contemporaries. Based in Franschhoek the estate has gained cult status because of the exquisitely balanced wines that reflect the varieties used as much as the soil they come from. Chocolate Block has carved out an impressive niche for itself with its deep complex character.
The 2015 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (71%), Grenache Noir (15%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%). This vintage is unique in the sense that all the grapes for this blend are now grown in the Swartland, hence its wine of origin certification. Grenache Noir always softens a blend, adding to the flavour profile and not necessarily enhancing the structure as such. With enough structure from the Syrah, they added a bit more Grenache than previous years. 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 (eight 2500L French oak foudres) for 16 months before it undergoes a light egg-white fining and filtration. 1 675 barriques were selected for our 2015 vintage.
The nose is exceptionally intense and complex with red berry fruit juxtaposed against a dark, brooding fruit compote and Swartland violets. The nose exudes aromas of raspberry, mulberry, blackberry, damson, dark chocolate and liquorice with whiffs of cloves, nutmeg and orange rind. The wine has a soft, smooth entry, a rich mid-palate and the abundance of red and black berry fruit on the nose follows through with balanced acidity and svelte cocoa powdery tannins. The Porseleinberg fruit certainly makes an impact to the blend, lending structure and a piercing yet lifted perfume. The wine has a long, lingering finish reminiscent of Swiss dark hazelnut chocolate.