Tony Bish ‘Fat n Sassy’ Chardonnay 2013
With over three decades of winemaking behind him, Tony Bish is one of New Zealand’s most highly respected winemakers. Tony is synonymous with Sacred Hill and Chardonnay, and the ‘Riflemans’ Chardonnay is seen as his signature wine, even though he has produced equally good wines with other varieties and in other styles. As is the trend nowadays, winemakers are taking the opportunity to do something of their own and a little differently from, and in addition to their ‘full-time’ job, and so it is with Tony Bish and the launch of his own label.
Tony Bish Wines is a supported collaboration with his wife Karryn and family, as well as Richard Brimer the renowned photographer with a penchant for things vinous. Unsurprisingly, it is a Chardonnay-only label, and Tony will be basing his releases on Mendosa clone fruit from top vineyard sources, and made in a contemporary, full-bodied style using sophisticated techniques he has learned over the years. The wine will be consumer-friendly in character as well as price. And there won’t be a lot of it, the wine to be sold in traditional retail and selected on-line channels, on-premise, and of course directly from Tony.
The first release is the 2013 vintage with 1,000 dozen made. Called ‘Fat n Sassy’, Tony says "The name says it all”. There is a 2014 follow-up in the works, and future plans include the possibility of more than one style of Chardonnay being released in each vintage, Tony realising the appeal of varied expressions of Chardonnay and sites. If you wish to find out more, visit his blogsite: www.bishchardonnay.wordpress.com There will be a website on-line soon. Here is my review of the inaugural 2013 Tony Bish Chardonnay.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Tony Bish ‘Fat n Sassy’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013Chardonnay from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 01-May-2014100% Mendosa clone from the Dartmoor Valley, fermented equally in barrel and tank, partially with indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 6% new French barriques with batonnage and 75% MLF. Full straw-yellow colour with light golden hues at the heart. The nose is very aromatic with fresh, yellow stonefruit and tropical fruit aromas lifted by youthful fermentation esters and complexed by very subtle flint and creamy, nutty oak detail. Full-bodied, a rounded mouthfeel contains restrained, but bright tropical fruit and yellow stonefruit flavours in an amalgam with nutty oak. The fruit has an esters lift, indicating its freshness. The palate flows a very fine textural line, softened by a creamy richness which grows in density and depth of ripe tropical fruits, nuts and toastiness, carrying through to a fine, dry lingering finish. This is a very fresh and youthful Chardonnay with lifted esters and a rounded palate that reveals tropical fruit, nuts and toasty oak flavours. It should come together and show greater richness over the next 4+ years. Match with most white meat courses. 18.0/20 May 2014 RRP $25.95