On first nosing this wine, I thought 'Burgundy meets Chenin'! A tinge of wood, toasty granola and honey, sweet hay, poached pears and ginger on the nose. The acid is lively, with great concentration and structure to the palate - a wisp of smoke, orchard blossom and fruits, vanilla spice and creamy, leesy notes. The texture coats the palate, with great tension, a moreish tangy note and stony finish with pronounced, incisive acidity. Both quite opulent and full-bodied, yet so sure of itself, so gloriously in balance, and perfectly polished.
Located on the Du Toitskloof Pass in Paarl, Brookdale estate is a relatively new name on the South African wine scene, having been purchased by Englishman Tim Rudd some five years ago. With some vines already on the property, Tim had an ambitious vision to make Brookdale one of the Cape's top quality focused wine labels, but before any wines could be made or new vines planted, they had to clear a whopping 67 hectares of alien vegetation and overgrowth. Mid-clearing, they happened upon a small neglected block of 1985-planted Chenin Blanc that had been thriving against the odds and that held exceptional potential. A chance encounter with the great winemaker Duncan Savage happened the very same year which led to Duncan making the first two vintages. Now at the helm is young winemaker and Cape Winemakers Guild Protegée, Kiara Scott. The 2019 is her first vintage, with Duncan still acting as consultant and mentor.
FROM THE PRESS
“Powdery, fragrant honeysuckle and jasmine with the sweetness of ripe white peach. Creamy, tingling, richly textured spread all over the palate. Apricots and avocado, matcha powder and tarragon and drippingly ripe white melon. A quiet tap-tap of pepper on the scalpel-fine, drawn-out finish. Elegant and beautifully composed. This is seriously classy, sophisticated-artisan Chenin. Don’t serve too cold – it was much better at around 14 °C (57 °F) than chilled. Drink now-2029. 17.5 points. ”Tamlyn Currin, Jancisrobinson.com
“The oak imprint on the wine is sensitive but complimentary, allowing lovely complex aromatics of white flowers, wet straw, white toast, tangerine peel and stem ginger to mingle effortlessly with notes of leesy biscuits and savoury vanilla pod spice. While the palate has a beautiful textural feel with mouth coating concentration, you can feel the pineapple pastille and smoky yellow orchard fruit notes are underpinned by the classical, stony mineral notes of the 2019 vintage. Showing an opulence and an attractive overt appeal already, this wines is once again a superb counterfoil to the overpriced, heady whites of Burgundy. Yes, I know its Chenin Blanc, but that is of course the wonder of this versatile premium white grape that reaches extra levels of intricacy when harvested from old vines and aged in oak. A delicious white wine that will drink well on release but should age and improve in the cellar comfortably for another 5 to 8+ years.” 93 points”Greg Sherwood MW