Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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Featured Reviews

Tony Bish ‘Fat & Sassy’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

23 February,2018

Tony Bish is one of this country’s most highly regarded winemakers, with Chardonnay as the variety he is best-known for. His track record with the Sacred Hill ‘Riflemans’ one of New Zealand’s best Chardonnays stretches back to 1995. When Tony and his wife Karryn introduced their own label in 2014, it was no surprise that the focus would be on this variety. The ‘Fat & Sassy’ Chardonnay is Tony’s expression that has great appeal across the market; the name says it all. The ‘Tony Bish’ brand now includes the distinctively oaked ‘Heartwood’, the lees-complexed ‘Golden Egg’, made in concrete fermenters, and the individual ‘Skeetfield’ single vineyard wine. All of these wines, and a strong selection of their friends’ wines are available to be enjoyed at their Urban Winery in the Ahuriri district of Napier, where the Tony Bish wines are made. Opened last year, the Urban Winery has proven to be a runaway success, and it is a ‘must-visit’ for enjoying wine with food and entertainment when one is in Hawke’s Bay. Here, I review the new release 2017 ‘Fat & Sassy’ Chardonnay.


Tony Bish ‘Fat & Sassy’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is softly full with aromatic citrus and tropical fruit aromas harmoniously melded with notes of nutty oak and subtle creamy barrel-ferment elements, and a hint of buttery MLF. The nose is beautifully integrated and elegant in presentation with fragrant detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has up-front but stylishly proportioned flavours of ripe tropical fruits and yellow stonefruits integrated with a refined layering of creamy oak and nutty lees, and nuanced of butter. The fruit forms a concentrated core with a degree of roundness and unctuousness, balanced by lacy acidity. The wine flows along a very smooth line, leading to a lightly nuanced, moderately long finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, up-front Chardonnay with ripe tropical fruit integrated oak and lees notes on a smooth palate. Match with poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Mendoza and clone 15 fruit from Bridge Pa and the Upper Dartmoor, one-third fermented in barrel, one-third in a new 9000 L Taransaud oak vat and one-third in stainless-steel with oak contact to 13.0% alc., the wine undergoing extensive batonnage and 100% MLF. 18.5/20 Feb 2018 RRP $21.95

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