Tony Bish is synonymous with Chardonnay. It is the only variety he produces and the core Fat & Sassy label is his bread and butter – or more aptly maybe toast and butter. 2021 was a super vintage in Hawkes Bay and this new release is an excellent one with a bit more spice and flintiness than the previous release. 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 (2021 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."
Rated Excellent & 93/100 Cameron Douglas MS, April 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"Bold, intense and fruity bouquet centering on aromas of grapefruit and yellow peach, a creamy brazil nut butter scent and barrel spice complexity. Some lees layer in shape and breadth. Full-bodied with a creamy texture and contrasting acid line. Favours of nut and yellow fleshed fruit along with grapefruit and fruit spices, some baked custard and nuttty oak qualities deliver a wine of power and presence. Delicious, fresh, youthful and ready to drink from 2022 through 2026."
5 Stars & 93/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim, April 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"It’s comforting and super tasty with ripe apricot, rockmelon, nougat and roasted hazelnut notes on the nose, leading to a splendidly flavoursome palate offering succulent fruit intensity with creamy mouthfeel and well-pitched acidity, making it delectable and satisfying. At its best: now to 2026."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
92/100 Angus Hughson, winepilot.com, July 2021 (2020 Vintage)
"Tony Bish is a chardonnay specialist. Actually you’d have to call him an evangelist as he only makes Hawkes Bay Chardonnay – yep nothing else. And here’s a chardonnay that flavour fans can sink their teeth into. Mid gold in colour, it’s an old fashioned fruit bomb but in a good way with lashings of ripe pear and nectarine fruits plus a nice touch of florals and all supported by quite subtle oak. The palate is then dry, full-bodied and creamy with powerful melon, papaya and buttery flavours well balanced by spicy oak and soft acidity. It’s hedonistic and it’s good….."
4 Stars Michael Cooper (2019 Vintage)
"‘All curves and lusciousness with exceptional sass’, the 2019 vintage was made with use of barrel fermentation and a softening malolactic fermentation. Bright, light yellow/green, it is a generous, upfront style, fruity and creamy-textured, with mouthfilling body and ripe, peachy flavours, very smooth and harmonious. Drink young."