Brookdale Estate,

Sixteen Field Blend

16 undefined varieties,
Paarl,South Africa,
  • Greg Sherwood: 95
  • Jancis Robinson: 17.5
  • Tim Atkin: 93


Bottle size: 750 ml,

In stock

From a single 2-ha block, 16 varieties interplanted. The amusingly spunky winemaker Kiara Scott tells me, with great gusto, that, ‘SAWIS, those lekker wine police, wanted us to plant the vines in rows [I note that I dutifully recorded this official account when I tasted the wine earlier this year], but the night before, Tim [Rudd, owner] went into the vineyards and moved some vines around, cut off the labels. Don’t tell anyone. He can get away with it.’ They pick all the grapes together, even though (and her eyes widen with drama) ‘some varieties look like they’re going through veraison and others look like they should be picked last week! But I pick on gut feel.’ She presses everything together, fermenting (spontaneous) in old barrels with overnight whole-bunch settling. One barrel went through malo. Bit of sulphites with crushing and then leave it for lees to settle out. A very long fermentation. ‘You need to have balls of steel’, she cackles!

Category: SKU: 71560ce98c82-1
In The Cellar
The plantings in this special vineyard consist of Chenin Blanc, Piquepoul, Verdejo, Clairette Blanche, Pinot Gris, Macbao (Viura), Grenache, Semillon, Roussanne, Vermentino, Marsanne, Petit Manseng, Albariño, Palomino, Chardonnay and Grillo. Yup, I think that makes 16!

In The Vineyard
The Brookdale Sixteen Field Blend 2022 is, like the maiden 2021, comprised of 16 different varietals, interplanted as bush vines on the estate and essentially seeks to recapture the lost art of field blend winemaking as practiced all over Europe in the last century before the rise of mono-culture winemaking. After planting the tagged vines, the individual varietal identifiers were removed so that the vineyard would be a truly blind field blend without any specific varieties being favoured.
A pale crystalline lemon yellow colour, the aromatics are wonderfully cool, mineral and restrained showing top notes of the estate’s classical dusty granitic minerality before hints of dried hay, green baking herbs, dried fennel, jasmine, white peach and melted honey on warm white toast. Like the 2021, the wine displays a silky fresh textural palate with a fine harmonious weight of peach stone, apple pastille, nectarine and yellow orchard fruits underpinned by a spicy, liquid minerality and phenolic herbal spice on the long, sleek, alluring finish. Once again, a brilliantly conceived creation that speaks of the estate’s vineyards, vision and terroir over any specific varietal or winemaking characteristic. If you missed the impressive sell-out 2021 maiden release, then this delicious white is right up there again. Drink now and over 10 to 12+ years. 95+/100 Greg Sherwood MW