Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek Valley Semillon 2018  £29.95

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The Boekenhoutskloof Semillon has been predominantly sourced from one of the oldest vineyards in South Africa, planted in 1902 on alluvial soils with a high loam content. Grapes are further sourced from two other low yielding parcels also grown within the Franschhoek Valley and planted in 1936 and 1942 on original rootstock and traditional bush vines.

The deep root system and high skin to pulp ratio of these old vineyards produce intensely complex, well-structured wines with an unbelievable ageing potential. It is important to respect the character of these unique sites and follow a similar philosophy in the cellar. The grapes are whole bunch pressed and spontaneous fermentation takes place in classic barrique and concrete eggs. The Semillon is matured for 14 months at low temperatures without adding sulphur to ensure any malolactic activity is inhibited. This oxidative approach at low temperatures enables the wine to enhance the textural elements of the old vine Semillon, creating structure in a wine that can certainly stand the test of time.

The nose is complex and alluring with its exquisite bouquet of orange blossom, nectarine, beeswax and lemongrass. The entry is exceptionally smooth with the white peach, mandarin and lemon curd character of the nose following through with delicate nuances of lime zest, root ginger, dill and tarragon. The wine is full-bodied and opulent yet focused with balanced acidity lending verve on an intense, seamless mid-palate. Hints of poached pear, chamomile, fenugreek and fresh fennel linger on a vibrant, saline finish.

93 Points - Platters Guide

Glorious 2018 walks delicate line between classic orange peel, wax & dried herb flavours shining through subtle oaking & edged with the zesty acidity of truly venerable vines (oldest dating back to 1902). 4% muscat d’Alexandrie, all naturally fermented (like most of these wines). An infant, lots more to come.

Wine tasted by Cathy Marston.

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