(2022) The Chocolate Block is a wine that has developed a devoted following over the years, based mainly on Syrah grown in the Swartland. It's made by Boekenhoutskloof, and a fair chunk of the fruit comes from their Porseleinberg vineyard, a wild and rocky place widely regarded as one of Swartland's best terroirs. The nose is all about mocha and spice, and a wild berry fruitiness that comes through - the 'chocolate' is a subtle reference, as this is about spicy, peppery fruit at heart. There's grip aplenty on the palate, a streak of meaty umami character, gripping sandy tannins and edged with a vivid acidity for gastronomic appeal. Not to be confused with the rather sickly vogue for chocolate or coffee-flavoured wines, this remains a class act. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) David & Nadia are Swartland stars, nurturing low yielding old vineyards to create some excellent wines. Nadia is a soil scientist who understands their vineyards intimately. This Grenache, with a modest 13% alcohol, has a pale and translucent colour, and a rather Pinot-like nose, gently mushroomy and gamy, but with such a lovely fragrance. Floral and small red berry fruit notes are to the fore. Juicy and buoyant on the palate, theres no shortage of sweet, pulpy red berries, a delicate coffeeish underpinning and refined, unagressive tannins and acids supporting rather than dominating the finish.  
(2022) Jolandie Fouché Chenin Blanc comes from very old bush vines planted on granite and iron-rich soils, and is in a broadly natural style; fermented with ambient yeasts and matured in neutral 300-litre casks. Pale straw-green in colour, aromatics have a subtle dough edge to ripe and juicy apple with a firm, preserved lemon character too. In the mouth there's nothing difficult, as sweet and ripe fruit floods the mid-palate, but there is such a lovely, stony firmness and grapefruity tension running into a long, shimmering finish.
(2021) Natural fermentation with native yeasts for this unoaked Swartland Chenin that spends six months on fine lees in tank. Nicely creamy, a little lanolin quality, and gentle lees-derived softness to the fruit. Quite full textured and the crispness of more apple and lemon fruit on the palate, youthful and slightly pear-droppy touches will ease over the next few months in bottle, and a nicely balanced wine.
(2020) What a beautiful wine, from 50-year-old unirrigated vines in Swartland, fermented in barrle with wild yeasts, and only 3,400 bottles produced. There's a definite whiff of gunsmoke and flint, then a lemon peel and apple brightness of fruit, but quite complex and very appealing. In the mouth that thrust and vigour of the citrus punches through, with excellent concentration and a bit of leesy richness of texture, a hint of creaminess, the finish long and tapering to a fine point. A lovely Chenin by any account.
(2019) Unwooded, this is fine, creamy, ripe, really attractive with a lovely bright and welcoming sweet fruit ripeness, A touch of RS, though mostly about sweetness of fruit. Very attractive and easy drinking.
(2019) From 40- to 45-year-old vines, this has creamier, less come-hither fruity character, more oatmeally and leesy. The palate again has very good fruit sweetness but this time swept up in a rush of sour lemon acidity that is mouth watering and gives lovely balance.
(2019) Grenache Blanc aged in older oak, and barrel-fermented. Much more natural in style, a lightly nutty and a nice savoury character to this - nice texture to, in a mouth-filling wine balancing ripe fruit with a good acid structure, just rounded-out by the creamy oak. No UK retailer at time of review.
(2019) Made with some staves and a combination of bush vines and trellised vines. Nice little bit of lift, a touch of watercolour paintbox, the palate fruity and bright, lowish acid but a nice grip of roughening tannin.
(2019) Fresh, lightly ashy nose, a little wood component does round it out, but it is quite wild and gamy in character, tobacco and spice, and on the palate good acidity and a rustic bite of tannin, quite long.