Tony Bish is one of Hawkes' Bay's most respected winemakers (especially with Chardonnay) and this is a very good reflection of those skills with his own label. The wine shows immediate impact on the palate, with plenty of fruit-forward richness, and then carries through onto the finish. It is the kind of wine that sneaks up on you with its power.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"This Chardonnay has a full, broad nose of refreshing and bright aromas of ripe yellow stone fruits and citrus fruits along with an edge of creamy and nutty barrel-ferment and spicy oak notes, subtle lemon-curd and buttery MLF notes. The palate has flavours of citrus fruits melded with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty, spicy oak.
The mouthfeel is enriched by integrated layers of lemon-curd and buttery MLF nuances. The palate has an underlying freshness with acid poise, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line with creamy nutty notes leading to a sustained finish with toasty oak."
5 Stars & 18.5/20 (93) Raymond Chan, January 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Bright, deep, golden yellow colour with depth, a little lighter on the rim. This has a softly full nose of fresh yellow stonefruits enriched by a layering of nutty oak and lees. This has a soft and rounded density and concentration to the aromatics, that unfolds a little butter and ripe tropical fruit detail. Medium-bodied, the palate is rounded and fulsome with mouthfilling flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits and tropical fruits entwined with layers of nutty oak and lees. This unfolds creamy barrel-ferment elements and MLF detail, and the wine shows some underlying power with plenty of drive, the soft acidity enhancing he palate richness. The wine carries to a full, fruit-chich finish with nutty and buttery flavours. This is an elegantly sized Chardonnay with richness and ripeness, along with creamy textures, unfolding buttery notes. Match with roasted poultry and pork dishes over the next 3+ years. Fruit from 3 sites in the Bridge Pa Triangle, one-third fermented in large oak vat, one-third in barrique and one-third in tank, to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in barrel with batonnage and 100% MLF".
5 Stars & 93/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, January 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Beautifully fruited and youthfully charming, the wine shows golden peach, rockmelon, vanilla, hazelnut and nougat characters on the nose, followed by a succulent palate that is creamy and expansive. This is gorgeously styled and richly expressed, offering terrific drinking. At its best: now to 2022."
17.5/20 Joelle Thomson, DrinksBiz Magazine, April 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Great value Chardonnays don’t come much better than this creamy little number from Hawke’s Bay, made by Tony Bish. This wine successfully combines the smooth, full-bodied aspects that appeal to lovers of Chardonnay with crisp, refreshing flavours that provide a long finish and zesty appeal."