Brookdale Estate has released three new white wines, crafted by winemaker Kiara Scott Farmer at the young Paarl winery on the slopes of the Du Toitskloof Mountains. Under the leadership of the owners, the Rudd family, Brookdale continues breaking down boundaries to define its own path within South Africa’s wine industry. The new release includes the second vintage of the lauded Brookdale Estate Sixteen White Field Blend (2022) and the fifth vintage of the flagship Brookdale Estate Old Vine Chenin Blanc (2021), as well as a brand-new Southern Rhône-style, white blend, called Brookdale Estate Bradbourne (2022).
With each harvest, Kiara Scott Farmer takes an intuitive approach, responding to the growing and harvest conditions in order to curate the vine which creates the wine. She says: ‘Wines like these are largely made in the vineyard, and polished in the cellar through minimal invention practices.’ Kiara creates room in her winemaking process for the wine to reveal its potential. This means that no two vintages receive the same treatment – there are no formulas and there is no recipe. Kiara prefers to use vintage-specific techniques which allow the grapes of that particular year to showcase their terroir best.
The award-winning 2020 vintage was a hard act to follow, but the newly released Brookdale Estate Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2021 meets high expectations once again, in celebration of old-vine Chenin Blanc. This vintage is yet another triumphant display of Paarl’s terroir and wine producing status of complexity and balance. The winemaker’s tasting notes refer to ‘Ginger spice and sourdough unfolding on the nose, laced with pineapple freshness, peach tea and a hint of vanilla pod. Richly textured, weighty stone fruit coalesces with vibrant, tropical nuances. On the mid-palate apricot tanginess balances creamy, salted lees. The acidity is sewn right through, fine and mineral, along a seam of subtle spice. Quince, peaches and poaching pears simmer to the finish, echoing long and resonant with fruitful generosity.’
Brookdale is a proud member of South Africa’s Old Vine Project – a collective of certified heritage vines. At the Trophy Wine Show in 2022, the Brookdale Estate Chenin Blanc 2020 took Gold with a top score of 97/100 placing it first in its category, winning the coveted Rosa Kruger Trophy for best Old Vine Wine. The wine was produced from Old Vine Chenin Blanc planted in 1985.
The maiden vintage of Brookdale Estate Bradbourne (2022) is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc, Roussanne and Marsanne. Paarl is a region well-known for producing quality blends, and these varieties are particularly suited to this climate. Carefully selected, the four varietals were picked at different stages and crafted into a traditional, Southern Rhône-style blend. ‘Clean aromas of Asian pear, white honey, blossom and crushed chalk. Textured and detailed, the palate has a floaty feel, like club soda. Young quince, apples and melon abound, curving along a line of salted butterscotch to a deeper shade of waxy honeycomb. On the mid-palate the sensation of peaches and cream is run through with a lifted, lemony acidity as the wine crests into a citrus-toned finish.’
‘The sum is greater than its parts’, is how Brookdale’s owner Tim Rudd explains his passion for the lost art of field blend winemaking, discovered during his travels around Portugal. The second vintage of Brookdale Estate’s Sixteen White Blend (2022) is once again totally representative of the vintage it stems from, and in line with the winemaker’s philosophy, not much altering was done to produce the wine. Winemaker Kiara Scott Farmer says: ‘Sixteen white varietals were planted as bush vines and the fruit was picked at two different stages due to the variability of the grapes. Expect a sense of quiet luxury on the opening chords; thatch, heather, white blossom and French linen give way to green pineapple, lemon balm and fresh honey. The fruit weaves richer on the palate, silken ribbons of peach, apricot and peardrop. A squeeze of limey acidity enlivens and sculpts around lush fruit, going flintier to the side palate and evolving into an appetising mineral-saltiness on the finish.’