This month, we took an exciting step in the evolution of the Brookdale Wine Range … We are elated to have unveiled the maiden vintage of the unique Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend (white), as well as the fourth vintage of our old-vine Brookdale Chenin Blanc. A study in the balance of dichotomy, the two new wines showcase the diversity of Brookdale as one of the new wine-producing treasures of the Paarl Winelands.
Brookdale Chenin Blanc (2020) is the fourth expression of this site-specific wine that is produced in limited quantities. It is widely lauded for its flavour, nuanced character and precise equilibrium. Juxtaposed against this classic old-vine Paarl Chenin, is the fresh and intriguing vibrance of the new Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend (2021) – the first milestone in our journey developing unique white and red field blends at Brookdale Estate.
Under the gentle hand of winemaker Kiara Scott with the support of an amazing vineyard and cellar team, the two new wines share the benefit of a minimal intervention approach to winemaking. Our wine philosophy focuses on creating a unique combination of character and elegance in the glass. At Brookdale, formulas are thrown out the window. We embrace harvest-specific and site-specific practices within the Paarl Wine Valley. We explore techniques in varying combinations as we search for the right approach for each block and vine. It’s a continual process of experimentation and discovery as we investigate our curiosity and test new theories.
The vision behind the Brookdale Wine Range
“My thinking when I first embarked on this journey was ‘what wine can SA produce that is world class?’. By that I mean – which varietals planted within the Paarl Wine Valley will be in the top 1% in the world of wine. We identified the varieties that will showcase not only the terroir of Paarl, but also the ability of South African wine to have depth and complexity amongst the best in the world. Brookdale wines are the product of thoughtfully conceived, region specific vines of superlative quality. We’re not trying to keep up with Joneses and produce wines that simply cannot compete on a global stage, but rather forge a new path and craft a range that can hold its own against the world’s most notable vineyards.”
– Tim Rudd, Proprietor
Brookdale Sixteen, Field Blend (Maiden Vintage – 2021)
The Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend (2021) is a celebration of the ancient, lost art of field blend winemaking. In 2018, sixteen different white varieties were interplanted as bush vines on Brookdale. These include cultivars that have flourished for centuries in France’s Rhône River Valley, the Mediterranean coastline, and the Iberian Peninsula. Planted together for structure and complexity, and some for acidity, it speaks to a wide range of flavours, as well as versatility and enjoyment with food.
Winemaker Kiara Scott says the vineyard was monitored closely in season and harvested on ‘gut feel’ according to the variability of the ripeness of the grapes. This was followed by co-fermentation and vinification for a true expression of field blend philosophy, where it is all about the totality of the blend, rather than the individual varietals, to deliver a level of complexity, balance and elegance.
According to Malu Lambert, “Like a meadow in spring, the Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend 2021 is aromatically diverse; laced with white flowers, heather, orange blossom, and hints of jasmine; then bright green apples, pear, and an undertone of nutty apricot kernel. Subtle, balanced with a soft, enveloping texture, the palate offers concentrated, minerally stone fruits evolving to nectarines and ripe citrus. This depth is cut with a juicy, mouth-watering acidity before a pithy finish”. Only 1200 bottles were produced in this maiden vintage, with limited availability from the estate at R295 per bottle.
Brookdale Chenin Blanc, Single Vineyard (4th Release – 2020)
The terroir of the Paarl Valley opens up a world of possibility through its unique combination of character and elegance. From old-vine Chenin Blanc, planted in 1985 and grown on decomposed shale and granite, Brookdale’s flagship Chenin Blanc is from a certified block of Old Vine Chenin Blanc found in the Drakenstein region.
Minimal intervention in the cellar allows this stony terroir to shine through in the 2020 vintage. Malu Lambert describes it as, “Unmasked, crushed stones unspool while limey, powdered chalk rides a wave of white citrus and white pear, underpinned by subtle oak spice. On the palate, the sensational white fruit continues. The mineral structure presents vertical and endless, enlivened by soft buoyant acids and a mouth-coating citrus purity. The finish is luminous, with a real granitic freshness.” The Brookdale Chenin Blanc is available in limited quantities (4000 bottles were produced) at R295 per bottle.