The art of creating new references: When Saint Emilion moved to Hawke’s Bay!




My generous friend stands there with a smile, knowing I’m confused. We’ve done this before at countless occasions; exposed each other for blind-bottles.

-I’m thinking 1995 or 1998. It’s maturing but has that gorgeous sweet fruit scent you find in great years.

Now I know he’s pleased. He got me right where he wanted; in the land of confusion.

-It has that almost late harvest feeling over it. I love it! The plums, the licorice, humus and some soy sauce and mushrooms luring in the background. It just screams out Merlot. And the structure and acidity, perfectly integrated oak….thanks for pouring! Can I have some refill?

I haven’t said it yet but Michel Rolland seems to pop up in my head more than once. Could it be his Le Bon Pasteur? But a Pomerol? Isn’t it more of a…of a Saint Emilion? Should I say it?

– I think it’s a 1995.

-It’s 1998.

Ok then. This should support my Saint Emilion track. Then perhaps….it do remind me a bit of the quite modern and often late harvested Troplong-Mondot. Can it be? My friend knows we visited the Chateau in ’08 and we have split Troplong’s before.

-But there is an intensity, I say, an intensity I can’t place really.

My friend saves me and shows the bottle:

1998 Brookfields Gold Label Cabernet/Merlot

Soon to be 13 years old BDX-blend from Hawke’s Bay. I’ll say. Now I know kiwis age gracefully as well (just kidding; I knew that already)! This darling has several years left although it is, for my taste, a perfect drink now. Perhaps the vintage of the 90’s but I still can’t wait to taste more recent vintages with age and see if the quality continues up. If so, then this will become world class.

1998 Brookfields Gold Label (Cabernet Sauvignon 85%, Merlot 10%, Cabernet Franc 5%), Hawke’s Bay, 93-94 points

N.B. Decanted two hours ahead. No signs of cracking up during the extra hour in the glasses.

N.B.2. Brookfields is a small boutique-like winery but please all importers reading my blog: call, mail, tweet Peter Robertson and try to get this to your portfolio. Bordeaux-lovers will thank you.
N.B.3. Roasted lamb in the oven….what else!