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Tony Bish 2017 ‘Heartwood’ and ‘Golden Egg’ Chardonnays

08 May,2018

Tony Bish is in his ‘happy place’ at his Urban Winery complex in the Ahuriri district of Napier where he hand-crafts his portfolio of Chardonnay wines, but also sells them there for discerning clientele to enjoy. The demand for his wines has grown considerably and he and his wife Karryn are exporting them to Australia, the U.K. and the United States. Tony reports he is "enjoying being back on the tools” so to speak, and exploring the different facets of his favourite variety, Chardonnay. He has just released the 2017 ‘Heartwood’ and ‘Golden Egg’ Chardonnays, the former espousing the compatibility of Chardonnay with barriques made from the heartwood of Quercus Rober French oak, and the latter exploring the use of concrete egg-shaped fermenters which bring out unique characters especially from the yeasts in suspension. Tony says that 2017 was a favourable season for him and Chardonnay, "the wines developed good depth and volume” and have a softness that suits the vintage. Here are my reviews of the wines. www.tonybishwines.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Tony Bish ‘Heartwood’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5/20

Brilliant light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly concentrated with good depth and intensity of aromatic yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, along with a little oak vanillin providing lift, unfolding subtle nutty oak and creamy barrel-ferment notes, and a little complexing oxidative detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and softly concentrated flavours of yellow stonefruits and a little citrus fruit, along with creamy barrel-ferment and lifted, nutty oak elements. The fruit forms a rounded, moderately concentrated and well-balanced core, with a fresh underlay of lacy acidity that lends freshness and energy. The wine carries with good linearity to a lingering finish. This is a gently rounded and concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruit, lifted oak vanillins and nutty oak detail on a fresh, linear palate. Match with poultry and pork over the next 4 years. 100% Mendoza clone Chardonnay in approx. equal parts from Upper Dartmoor and Bay View, hand-picked and WBP, 95% fermented in barrel and 5% in new French oak ‘Ovum’ to 13.0% alc., the wine aged approx. 12 months in 25% new Taransaud oak, undergoing batonnage and 100% MLF. 18.5/20 May 2018 RRP $35.00

Tony Bish ‘Golden Egg’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5+/20

Bright, even, pale golden-yellow colour with slight green hues, a little paler on the rim. The nose is softly full and even in volume with refined white and yellow stonefruit aromas along with nutty, smoky lees that form a soft overlay to the fruit. Some mineral elements emerge. This has aromatic depth and purity. Medium-bodied, the palate has a tightly bound and concentrated heart of white and yellow stonefruits along with nutty and minerally lees flavours. The fruit is well-packed and enlivened by fine, fresh acidity and the wine carries along a very fine-featured line with good drive and energy. The flavours are bright, fresh and lead to a long finish of nuts and minerals. This is an elegant, tightly bound and finely concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruit and nutty, minerally lees interest and a fine, linear core. Serve with seafood and poultry over the next 4+ years. 100% Mendoza clone fruit, 70% from Upper Dartmoor and 30% from Bay View, hand-picked and WBP, 87% fermented in concrete egg, 8% in new French oak barrels and 5% in new French oak ‘Ovum’ to 13.5% alc., the wine give some batonnage over 12 months, undergoing 75% MLF. 18.5+/20 May 2018 RRP $40.00

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