Theory & Practice Hawke’s Bay 2014 Chardonnay and 2013 Syrah
Ant Mackenzie has a distinguished track record stretching over two decades as a winemaker, with the high profile Framingham, Spy Valley, Mud House and Dry River-Te Awa wineries. While he is now a consultant winemaker for a number of producers, he and his wife Fiona have begun to make their own wines. The Spanish-inspired ‘Toño’ wines from Hawke’s Bay have been the first to be released (click here to see my reviews). The ‘Craft Farm’ wines from their home vineyard in Havelock North are to be released in the near future, but bridging them are the ‘Theory & Practice’ range, these being contemporary wines which allow Ant to explore the boundaries of style and vinification. Here are my reviews of the ‘Theory & Practice’ 2014 Chardonnay and 2013 Syrah, both from Hawke’s Bay fruit. For availability, contact Ant Mackenzie on Tel: 021 502-996, or Email: [email protected].
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Theory & Practice Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014Chardonnay from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 09-Jun-2015Bright straw-yellow colour with slight lemon hues. The nose is softly full with deep and concentrated aromas of ripe yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit, unfolding mealy and biscuitty layers along with subtle and balanced toasty oak and complexing flinty lees elements. The aromatics are detailed and the nose is one of finesse. Medium-bodied and elegantly proportioned, the palate features a fine-featured, tight core of yellow stonefruits entwined with mealy and nutty flavours. The wine flows smoothly with creamy barrel-ferment richness, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity lending good energy. Toasty oak and nutty, gunflinty elements emerge and are carried to a fine-textured, refreshing and sustained finish. This is an elegant, finely concentrated, poised Chardonnay with complex mealy, flinty and toasty detail. Match with roasted white meat dishes over the next 4-5 years. Clones Mendoza, 15 and 95 from a Cape Coast vineyard, the fruit hand-picked, WBP and barrel-fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 40% new French oak, undergoing 100% MLF. 18.5/20 May 2015 RRP $24.99
Theory & Practice Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013Syrah from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 06-Mar-2016Bright ruby-red colour. The nose is bright with vibrant and ripe aromas of dark raspberry and black berried fruits entwined with Asian spices, black pepper, the aromatics lifted by dark red florals and growing in depth with aeration. Rich and sweet-fruited on palate, with black berry, raspberry and black pepper flavours, the wine is vibrant and juicy and enhanced by spices and floral fragrant notes. Soft acidity adds to the plush mouthfeel, and the palate is guided by fine-grained tannins. A rich wine with a degree of fineness. Chave and MS clone fruit from an inland Gravels vineyard, hand-picked, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 20% new French oak barrels. 18.0+/20 Mar 2016 RRP $25.00 Very dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, very youthful in appearance. This has an elegant nose with tightly bound aromas of ripe black berried fruits entwined with black pepper, violet florals, iron-earth and mineral elements. The oaking is very sensitive. Earthy detail unfolds as the fruit grows in depth with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tight and elegant in proportion with a concentrated core of ripe black fruits, black pepper, earth and minerals. Some floral aromatics provide lift, enhancing the vitality of the fruit. Fine-grained tannin extraction provides a refined structure and line and the mouthfeel flows easily with good acid energy. The flavours lead to a rich and sustained finish with earthy berry and peppery fruit. This is an elegantly concentrated, fine-grained Syrah with black fruits, florals and iron-earth flavours. Serve with roasted game meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. Chave and MS clone fruit from an inland Gravels vineyard, hand-picked, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 20% new French oak barrels. 18.0+/20 May 2015 RRP $24.99