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 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 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. In 2010 we blended in only 4% of Sauvignon Blanc.
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.