Brookdale is an impressive winery owned by Englishman Tim Rudd that is planted with 20+ year old Chenin Blanc vines as well as several other special Chenin Blanc blocks that are now fully certified as 37 year old Old Vines planted in 1985, situated at the foot of the lofty Du Toitskloof Pass in Paarl.
The property was bought by the Rudd family who instantly kick started a widespread replanting programme where sustainable viticulture and farming for the future generations were at the centre of their ethos. The first vintage of their new field blend white was recently released and will be reviewed on the Fine Wine Safari in coming weeks. With most of the previous vineyards acquired with the original estate very neglected, most were uprooted with only the old vine Chenin Blanc blocks retained. This exceptional site offers altitude and granitic soils rich in clay and schist that are perfectly suited for Chenin Blanc and in their 4th vintage, the true pedigree of the Brookdale terroir is finally being revealed with an exceptional white wine.
With winemaker Kiara Scott taking Brookdale forward from the 2019 vintage, Kiara is a young winemaker who studied at Elsenberg before being selected to join the Cape Winemakers Guild Protege Programme. Kiara has worked vintages in the Rhône Valley, Sancerre and the Russian River in Sonoma, California. Duncan Savage, who produced the first two vintages, still acts as a consultant to the ambitious Brookdale project helping them to meet their lofty aspirations.
Brookdale Chenin Blanc Single Vineyard 2020, WO Paarl, 13.5% Abv.
Now a designated single vineyard Chenin Blanc, and newly labelled as such, the 2020 certainly rises to the challenge to offer an old vine intensity and quality that exceeds anything released from Brookdale previously. Everything is text book here and assembled with absolute precision. The aromatics burst forth with lofty notes of tangy sweet and sour yellow citrus, wet straw, hints of pineapple pastille and sweet herbal notes of fynbos and dried thyme. Fabulous lift and intensity continue to the opulent palate that shows an impressive concentration of white peach and citrus fruits with a tangerine kiss underpinned by fabulously tangy acids and a pronounced stony wet river pebble minerality on the long, unctuous finish. A wine with a revved up complexity and intensity but also a delightfully sophisticated balance. This is top level Tetris where all the blocks have slotted in together seamlessly to create a wine of beauty. Enjoy on release and over the next 10 to 12+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 95/100 Greg Sherwood MW)