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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. www.tonybishwines.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



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

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5/20

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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