Featured Reviews

Brookfields New 2017, 2016 and 2015 Hawke’s Bay Releases

14 September,2017
Brookfields Vineyard has a history stretching back to 1937, but its present incarnation began in 1977 when it was purchased by Peter Robertson. Brookfields thus became one of the pioneering boutique Hawke’s Bay wineries of the modern era, and it remains one of the highly regarded smaller operations in the region, producing 8,000 to 10,000 cases from 200 tonnes of grapes annually from their four regional vineyard sources of the ‘Home’ block at Meeanee, the Ohiti vineyard, and from vineyards in the Tuki Tuki and their ‘Hillside’ vineyard in Bridge Pa. Peter, his wife Sharon and their family personally run all aspects of the business and have Carl Nicholson as the assistant winemaker. The ‘Estate’ wines are bottled under contract, but the ‘Reserve’ wines are produced and finished on site. The wines are classical artisanal Hawke’s Bay wines and deliver quality and value. Here, I review a selection of new ‘Estate’ releases. www.brookfieldsvineyards.co.nz


Brookfields ‘Robertson’ Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, light straw-yellow colour, paler on the rim. This has a fresh, full nose with moderately deep yellow stonefruit and exotic floral aromas along with a little honeysuckle and mineral notes. Dry to taste, the flavours of yellow stonefruits form a rounded core, unfolding nuances of florals, honeysuckle, nuts and minerals. The palate shows good body and the mouthfeel is round and smooth-flowing with balanced acidity and a very light, fine-textured line guiding the wine to a soft, gentle finish of stonefruits and honeysuckle. This is a rounded, dry Pinot Gris with good body and depth of stonefruit flavours, along with honeysuckle, florals and minerals on a smooth-flowing palate. Match with Asian fare over the next 3 years. Fruit from the ‘Ohiti Estate’, cool-fermented to 13.5% alc. and 7.0 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees with batonnage. 17.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $20.00

Brookfields ‘Bergman’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright yellow colour with pale golden hue and some depth, lighter edged. The nose is fresh with good depth of yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit aromas entwined with creamy barrel-ferment, and nutty lees and oak notes, unveiling a little lemon-curd MLF. Medium-fill bodied, the palate has elegantly concentrated flavours of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits melded with nutty lees and oak elements with soft, creamy barrel-ferment textures. The mouthfeel is smooth in flow with light, lacy acidity providing freshness and energy. The wine unfolds a little lemon-curd MLF as it carries to a fine, elegant, lingering finish. This is a fresh, but elegantly concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruit and citrus fruit flavours melded with nutty lees and oak notes and a creamy flow. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the ‘Ohiti Estate; and ‘Home Block’, the wine barrel-fermented partially with indigenous yeasts to 14.0$ alc., the wine aged 9 months on lees in predominantly French oak with some American oak, and a small portion new, undergoing partial MLF. 18.0-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $20.00

Brookfields ‘Back Block’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Ruby-red colour with slight purple hues and some depth, lighter on the rim. This has a oft nose with moderately packed aromas of dark raspberries and blackberry fruit melded with earthy and savoury peppery notes, along with dark-red and violet florals and a little nutty oak. Medium-bodied, the palate has restrained, soft flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries harmoniously melded with earthy and cracked pepper nuances. The flavours unfold to show savoury floral and nutty elements. The mouthfeel is soft and elegant with gentle tannins balancing the fruit sweetness and acidity. The flavours carry to a light, nuanced finish with a little acid crispness providing lift. This Syrah is restrained in flavour but is soft and harmonious, melding black and red fruits with earthiness and pepper. Serve with antipasto and Mediterranean fare over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the back block of the ‘Ohiti Estate’, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine spending at least 2 weeks on skins, and aged at least 6 months in oak. 16.5+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $20.00

Brookfields ‘Burnfoot’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Even, dark ruby-red colour with some purple hues. This has a soft nose with aromas of red berry fruit and red plums harmoniously entwined with savoury herbs and earthy notes, unfolding a little smoky oak. The aromatics grow in concentration with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a gently rich, up-front flavours of dark-red plum fruit with soft berry notes and savoury herbs. The fruit forms a rounded core with good body and presence, and is supported by moderate extraction of fine-grained tannins providing a smooth texture and line that carries easily to a soft finish of plummy fruit with notes of herbs and earth. This is an up-front Merlot with dark-red plum fruit with notes of savoury herbs and earth on a balanced, smooth-flowing palate. Match with roast lamb and beef over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the ‘Tuki Tuki’ vineyard, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 3 weeks on skins and aged over 12 months in French and American oak. 17.0+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $20.00

Brookfields ‘Sun Dried’ Hawke’s Bay Malbec 2016

Malbec from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge, youthful in appearance. This ha a firm and well-concentrated nose with rich and ripe fruit aromas of dark-red and black berried fruits along with boysenberry notes, subtle spice and fruit-cake elements, a suggestion of raisins and sweet oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and lusciously succulent fruit flavours of dark-red and black plum fruit with blackberries and boysenberries, with raisin nuances. The palate unfolds spice notes, fruit-cake and a layering of sweet oak. The mouthfeel is fulsome with mouthfilling flavours and fine tannin extraction supporting the fruit and providing a degree of robustness. The palate has presence and body and the flavours carry to a succulent and vibrantly sweet finish with a little grip. This is a fulsome, rich and lusciously ripe Malbec with dark berry and plum flavours with boysenberries, spices and sweet oak, and good structure. Serve with game meat dishes over the next 6-8+ years. Fruit from the ‘Tuki Tuki’ and ‘Ohiti’ vineyards, hand-picked and sun-dried in trays in a shade house, then fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 1 y.o. oak barrels. 18.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $25.00

Brookfields ‘Indulgence’ Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2017

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright golden-yellow colour with good depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is full and softly concentrated with deep, opulent aromas of ripe apricots and tropical fruits entwined with orange marmalade and honey. Very sweet to taste and light bodied, the palate has stylishly rich and opulent flavours of apricots and tropical fruit, with notes of pineapple intermingling with marmalade and honey. The mouthfeel is soft and lush with decadence and unctuousness, and the wine flow smoothly with good underlying drive along a fine, guiding line. There is fresh, background acidity providing cut and energy, and the wine carries to an elegant lingering finish of nectar and lightly savoury honey. This is a rich, opulent and decadent Noble Viognier with apricot and tropical fruit flavours with marmalade and honey on an unctuous palate. Match with fruit and baked dessert, crème caramel and crème brulee over the next 4-5 years. Botrytised Viognier, two-thirds from the ‘Ohiti Estate’ and one-third from the ‘Hillside’ site, cool-fermented to 9.5% alc. and approx. 275 g/L RS, TA 9.83 g/L and pH 3.58. (375 ml) 18.5-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $25.00
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