Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Owner / Winemaker: Peter Robertson

You hear people say - that when it comes to potentially opening a particular bottle of wine, they will wait for a special occasion. Well, when it comes to the ‘Hillside’ Syrah from Brookfields - opening this wine is the occasion. To say this wine is special is like saying winning the lottery is nice. It has been a while since I last reviewed the celebrated Brookfields ‘Hillside’ Syrah. Even though I am reviewing a 2015 vintage wine.

 

It must be mentioned that this year 2017 is the '80th Vintage' of Brookfields Vineyards, being founded as a winery back in 1937. Peter bought Brookfields Vineyards in 1977 - and is celebrating his 40th vintage this year, which is a tremendous achievement.
But regards the wine in question, is was in the late 1990’s - after 20 years of exploring and talking with local farmers. Peter finally found and planted this most unique ‘Hillside’ site vineyard, located adjacent to ‘Bridge Pa’ (a small rural settlement) in the heart of Hawke’s Bay. The crafting of this small parcel ‘Hillside’ Syrah, is only considered during the best growing seasons - and then given only the finest of treatment throughout its vinification and maturation in the winery.
The ‘Hillside’ site is sheltered from cool southerly breezes due to its northerly aspect, hence it gets hot during the ripening summer months. A mix of Mass Selection (MS) and Clone 470 Syrah vines thrive in this location - producing rich, complex flavours in the fruit bunches.
The vineyard was harvested on the 8th April. The intensely flavoured grapes were destemmed, crushed and fermented in closed fermentation tanks. Following pressing, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation and then racked into a mix of new French and American oak barriques for maturation. After regular tasting, racking and when deemed ready, the wine was taken out of barrel after around 12 months, and estate bottled under cork.
In your glass, you will be greeted by an intense red colour with a magenta edge. On the nose, you are enticed by ripe dark fruits, dried herbs, subtle hints of vanilla and oak. These characters further develop on the palate, engaging your senses with wild berries, white pepper, liquorice, dried herbs, toasty char, vanilla and coffee. This Syrah has nicely entwined, well-structured and supportive use of oak. The palate is perfectly balanced with restrained complexity, a depth of varietal character, along with expressing a clear sense of place.
Resulting in this 2015 ‘Hillside’ Syrah being vibrant, and of a caliber which should place it into any serious cellar and able to pair with any occasion - if it is simply the pulling of the cork on a well-aged bottle. Treat yourself - this wine is definitely worth sharing.
This 2015 Brookfields 'Hillside' Syrah has 14% Alc. If opened in the next 12-18 months decant for 50-60 minutes and serve in a generous shaped glass at 16-18°C. 

A complex and engaging Hawke’s Bay Syrah, of international caliber.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
With decanting, approachable this winter season; though will appreciate another 3-4 years and will repay and age nicely for another 8-10 years. 

FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine with lamb shanks in a red wine jus, slow cooked roast meats, rich pasta dishes and earthy vegetarian cuisine, plus aged hard cheeses - enjoy.