Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2020


White Wine of the Year as rated by Tim Atkin, scoring 99 points in the 2022 report.

This Semillon is meticulously crafted from Certified Heritage Vineyards, proudly boasting a place among South Africa’s oldest viticultural treasures. These venerable Franschhoek Semillon vineyards, standing resilient against harsh conditions and thriving in alluvial soils, yield wines of exceptional distinction characterised by profound depth and complexity. The deep-rooted systems of these aged vines, coupled with a high skin-to-pulp ratio, culminate in the production of remarkably intricate, well-structured wines with an astounding capacity for ageing.

Among the hallowed vineyards contributing to their Semillon blend, two date back to the years 1902 and 1942, featuring unirrigated bush vines nestled in the historic Franschhoek Riverbed. These vines, resilient on little to no slope, have firmly established themselves in alluvial soils enriched with high loam content. A third vineyard, planted in 1936, graces a 45-degree south-facing slope further up the valley, flourishing in decomposed granite and quartz. Within these historic vineyards, some vines have naturally transitioned from Semillon to Semillon Gris, characterised by a subtle red hue and an elevated skin-to-pulp ratio. The Semillon Gris vines, requiring extended ripening, are selectively harvested during a second picking.

In a nod to enhancing the aromatic character, a judicious portion of historic Muscat d’Alexandrie, planted in 1902, finds its way into the blend. The old vines, having thrived under the favorable conditions of the 2020 growing season, benefited from consistent wet weather and cool evening temperatures. The Semillon, nurtured by good vegetative growth and luxuriant canopies, ripened gradually and evenly, imparting an approachable nature to the vintage alongside a beguiling minerality.

The nose is upfront, fresh and inviting, with aromas of mandarin orange, tangerine peel, pineapple and fragrant blossoms and gentle whiffs of angelica, lemon verbena, nettles and spicy oak nuances all adding intensity to the citrus character. Layers of vibrant, pure flavours of kumquat, granadilla, yellow apple and preserved lemon dominate a lively and complex mid-palate. The slightly savoury, spicy character of the nose follows through with hints of chamomile, marmalade, and beeswax. The wine is fleshy, full, and textured, yet zesty, elegant and balanced, with a beautiful salinity lingering on a pure, taut, slightly pithy finish.

Analysis: ALC 13% | RS 2 g/l | TA 5.40 g/l | pH 3.41


6 in stock


Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm’s name means “ravine of the Boekenhout” (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making.

In 1993 the farm and homestead was bought and restored and a new vineyard planting programme was established that now includes Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Semillon and Viognier.

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