Featured Reviews

Brookfields 2018 Ohiti Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Bergman Chardonnay, and 2016 Hillside Syrah and Gold Label Cabernet Merlot

18 October,2018
Peter and Sharon Robertson have the honour of being one of the pioneer modern boutique wine producers in Hawke’s Bay, and thus have much respect in the industry.  Based in Meeanee, the company draws fruit from Ohiti. Tuki Tuki and Bridge Pa.  The annual production of 8,000 to 10,000 cases covers a broad range of varieties and styles, some quite innovative and unique.  The flagship ‘Hillside’ Syrah and ‘Gold Label’ ‘Reserve Vintage’ Cabernet/Merlot are true, hand-crafted limited release wines of extremely high quality.  Here I conduct a review of two halves: the more accessible 2018 ‘Ohiti’ Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 ‘Berman’ Chardonnay, and the 2016 ‘Hillside’ Syrah and ‘Reserve Vintage’ Cabernet/Merlot, the latter two wines showing a more elegant side, no doubt a reflection of the cool-start, hot-finish of the 2016 vintage.  www.brookfieldsvineyards.co.nz


Brookfields ‘Ohiti Estate’ Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues and some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and clean, a little restrained in expression, showing an amalgam of white stonefruits and fresh herbs, with subtle notes of whir florals. The fruit forms an elegant core with moderate intensity unfolding hints of minerals. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a rounded and deep heart of white and green stonefruits along with notes of gooseberries and fresh herbs. The palate is enlivened by softly fresh, lacy acidity and there is some underlying power providing drive. The wine flows smoothly to a lingering finish of herbs and stonefruits. This is a deep and rounded Sauvignon Blanc with a smooth core of stonefruits, herbs and gooseberries with soft acid freshness and some underlying power. Match with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Ohiti Estate’, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 3.3 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 17.0+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $20.00

Brookfields ‘Bergman’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is firmly presented with very good depth, intensity and concentration of layered aromas of white and yellow stonefruits with citrus fruits, along with nutty, toasty oak and a little lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF adding interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has moderately rich flavours of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit along with a layer of nutty oak and some lemon-curd and butterscotch detail. This has good body, presence and drive, with power, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line with lacy acidity leading to a light, elegant finish. This is a firmly presented Chardonnay with intense stonefruit and citrus flavours, nutty oak and lemon-curd MLF on a palate with presence and drive, leading to an elegant finish. Match with roasted poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the ‘Ohiti Estate’ fully barrel-fermented 50% by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months on lees in predominantly French oak, with some American, a small portion new, with approx. 30% MLF. 17.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $20.00

Brookfields ‘Hillside’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with slight black hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with good depth and intensity of blackberry fruit entwined with aromas of spices and black pepper, with white pepper nuances, liquorice and subtle notes of violet florals. This is refined in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich and vibrant core of sweetly rich and luscious flavours of blackberries with black plums, spices and liquorice, and an array of black and white pepper with violet floral nuances. The fruit has depth and intensity with very good vitality and a fresh, firm line of acidity. The flavours flow along a very finely extracted line, leading to an elegant, lingering spicy finish. This is a rich and vibrant Syrah with elegant flavours of blackberries, black plums, pepper and spices on a fresh palate with fine extraction. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 6+ years. A blend of MS and 470 clone fruit from a north-facing hillside single vineyard in Bridge Pa, destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in new French oak and two American barriques. 18.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $45.00

Brookfields ‘Reserve Vintage’ Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, near impenetrable at the heart, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is very taut and initially shy in expression, but seamlessly unfolds to show integrated aromas of soft blackberries and blackcurrants, nuances of plum, dark herbs with mint, and complexing pencilly oak. The aromatics unfold in detail with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly proportioned with finely concentrated and packed flavours of ripe blackcurrants with blackberry and plum notes along with subtle herb nuances. Fine, pencilly oak adds a layer of interest. The fruit is underlined by plenty of fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction providing an elegant, stylish core with integrated acidity. The wine carries to a sustained finish of blackcurrants, plums and herbs. This is an elegantly proportioned and finely concentrated Cabernet/Merlot with black berry fruits and plums with herb and pencilly oak interest on a very fine-grained palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8+ years. The ‘Gold Label’ wine. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon clone LC10 from the ‘Ohiti Estate’ and 15% Merlot clone 481 from the Tuki Tuki Valley, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in predominantly new French oak. 18.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $55.00

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