Semillon 2019 – Boekenhoutskloof.
Semillon is one of the most interesting white wine varieties and wines from South Africa. The presence of vineyards with old Semillon vines and their great potential have resulted in popular dry and sweet wines, with great ageing potential. In this review we are discussing the 2019 Semillon by one of South Africa’s best-known producers: Boekenhoutskloof. We wrote a full background article on this producer, including a review featuring some of their wines, which you can find here.
About the Winery
One of the biggest successes in the South African wine scène is located in the Franschhoek Valley: Boekenhoutskloof. In the past 30 years this winery paved the way for many others, showcasing the great potential of South Africa as a wine country. Boekenhoutskloof is known for producing high-quality red, white, and dessert wines from a variety of grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Semillon. Its most successful wines are produced under the label “Boekenhoutskloof”.
The winery was founded in 1776 and has a long history of producing wines that are highly regarded by critics and consumers alike. In 1994 Marc Kent took over the winery together with a group of partners and they have worked hard to create one of the best known and highest rated wineries in South Africa.
About the Variety
Semillon is a white wine grape variety that is grown in South Africa and is used to produce a range of white wines, including dry and sweet styles. Semillon wines from South Africa are typically full-bodied and have a rich, fruity character with notes of citrus, green apple, and tropical fruit. The grape is well-suited to the warm, dry climate of South Africa and is widely planted in various regions of the country. Semillon feels very much at home in Franschhoek Valley with her Mediterranean-style climate and has been an important variety for Boekenhoutskloof over the course of time.
About the Vineyards
Boekenhoutskloof holds some of the oldest recorded Semillon plantings in South Africa, and they form the basis for this great white wine. Coming from three “Old Vine Certified” vineyards with unirrigated bush vines (planted in 1902, 1942 and 1936) the fruit is rich and concentrated. The alluvial and warm growing conditions force the vines to seek deep for nutrients and on their own are already a recipe for deep and complex wines. In the blend there is also some Semillon Gris and a small portion of Muscat added to expand the aroma profile. Funny enough the Semillon Gris is a natural mutation from Semillon that took place in the vineyard.
About the Wine
On the nose a fresh first impression, accompanied by a wide array of deeper and more complex aroma’s, here you can already sense that this wine has a whole life ahead of him. Floral notes, citrus fruit but also spices and the typical beeswax. All nicely layered and integrated. On the palate there is a modest level of acidity, acting as a silver lining. A touch of oak guarantees more structure and a balanced body here. A mouth filling wine, both savory and alive, with great minerality. Precision go hand in hand with elegance here, leaving you with a fruity finish and a touch of salt that makes you reach for your glass once more. So much going on here and the best is yet to come.
Taste date: December 2022
Score: 95/100 DWA Score