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The Boekenhoutskloof Semillon has been predominantly sourced from the oldest vineyard 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 and1942 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 for us to respect the character of these unique sites and we follow a similar philosophy in the cellar.
The grapes are whole bunch pressed and spontaneous fermentation takes place in barrique and concrete eggs. We mature our Semillon for 14 months at low temperatures without adding sulphur to ensure that we inhibit any malolactic activity. Prior to bottling we often opt to blend Sauvignon Blanc into the Semillon. The percentage will differ depending on the vintage.
The nose shows a melange of freshly squeezed citrus, pear, orange blossom, lemon curd and honeysuckle. The bright yellow fruit follows through onto a vibrant yet elegant palate with a richly textured mineral core, a firm structure and soft, balanced acidity. The use of French oak is evident from the hints of vanilla and almonds which lifts the palate in such a subtle way. The wine has a long, dry, nutty, spicy finish with peach blossoms and hints of marzipan lingering in the mouth.
The Story Of Seven Chairs: Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for making fine furniture. Our Boekenhoutskloof label features seven chairs; amongst them the country-style split splat chair made in the neo-classical style with a shouldered top rail and thonged seat from the late 18th century. Then there's the Sandveld chair that has two back rails and a thonged seat which made its appearance in the second quarter of the 19th century. The transitional Tulbagh chair was made in the late 18th century, it has a plain back and a shaped top rail with half-round opening. The chairs on our wine label all pay tribute to the skills of the 18th century craftsmen and their achievements in creating beauty from natural sources, just like the pursuit of fine wine-making.
2011 – 93p Wine Spectator / 2012 – 92p Wine Spectator