2004, 2006 & 2009 Boekenhoutskloof Semillon


The inspiration for this Cellar Favorite was a sublime bottle of 2006 Semillon from Boekenhoutskloof, Franschhoek’s leading producer. Current winemaker Gottfried Mocke poured this after my tasting of recent releases, evidence, if was needed, of how rewarding the Cape’s wines can be with age. Founder Mark Kent crafted this particular vintage, and it comes from the blocks planted in 1902 and 1942. Clear with light green golden glints, the 2006 is fully mature on the nose, with scents of dried honey, lanolin, grilled walnut and a touch of smoke. Over time a light resin note emerges. The palate is well balanced with a fine acidic thread, waxy in texture and impressively focused. The first bottle had a touch of oxidation, so Mocke opened a second. Thankfully, this example is much fresher and more vibrant on the finish, with a tang of stem ginger lingering on the aftertaste. Wonderful. 95/Drink 2022-2040.

Perusing my spreadsheet, I had almost forgotten that I tasted two more bottles with maturity during my stay. Firstly, the 2004 Semillon, has a lovely bouquet with yellow plum, lemon sherbet and orange zest, even if it does not have the same brightness as the 2006. The palate is well balanced with a gorgeous creamy texture, lemon curd, ginger, rhubarb and white pepper. Drink this now, as it won't get any better. 91/Drink 2022-2026.

The 2009 Semillon is feisty on the nose with lanolin and white pepper touches, followed by hints of beeswax that surface over time. It’s engaging and mercurial aromatically. The palate has a beautiful texture and fine depth. The 2009 is waxy and very phenolic with a persistent finish. This is almost in the same class as the splendid 2006 and still has plenty in the tank. 94/Drink 2022-2042.

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