Made using Tony’s stunning Taransaud French Oak 'Ovum' egg imported from France. An oak 2000 litre, egg shaped, fermentation barrel made without the use of any metal staves – a thing of beauty and craftsmanship.
And so is the wine. Fruit from the Skeetfield vineyard displays flavours of pure white peach, chalky, citrus. It is textural with smoky saline hints. Ethereal, classic detailed. UK wine scribe (and NZ fan) Jamie Goode described this as the best NZ Chardonnay he’d ever tasted. Who could argue? This is very, very impressive.
97/100 Jamie Goode, October 2018 (2017 Vintage)
"Tony Bish made his reputation as winemaker for Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay. While he remains a consultant and a shareholder in the company, Tony has turned to his first love, Chardonnay, and is now making a stunning range of wines from an urban winery in Napier. In pride of place in the winery is the Taransaud Ovum, a 2000 litre wooden egg. Tony’s Zen Chardonnay is the first Chardonnay in the world to have been made exclusively in an Ovum. The Zen Chardonnay is a profound wine that may be the best New Zealand Chardonnay I have tried…
100% ovum, first use. Skeetfield fruit, unfined and unfiltered. Beautiful nose with subtly mealy citrus fruit. The palate has beautiful texture and finesse. There’s a bright, lively citrus core with fine-grained structure. Such precision and detail with some spicy, mealy richness. There’s amazing intensity and balance here. There are layers of flavour, with lemons, saline notes, and some grapefruit notes. This is profound. Tony Bish says egg Chardonnays don’t need to age as long before release, and may not live as long as barrique aged ones, but can deliver profundity."
5 Stars & 97/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, June 2019 (2017 Vintage)
"An exquisite rendition offering supreme elegance and scintillating clarity as well as stunning complexity. The delicately expressed bouquet shows nectarine, rockmelon, roasted cashew and nougat characters with nuances of oatmeal and lemon peel. The palate is concentrated and beautifully weighted, exhibiting outstanding depth and power, while remaining refined and graceful, leading to a wonderfully flowing expansive finish. At its best: 2021 to 2027."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2017 Vintage)
"The debut 2017 vintage was made in an ovum – an egg-shaped, French oak barrel which creates unique convection currents, keeping the wine's yeast lees in suspension. Grown in the Skeetfield Vineyard and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it is a multi-faceted wine, full-bodied, generous and refined, with deep, vibrant, citrusy, peachy flavours, biscuity notes adding complexity, and a long, savoury finish. A youthful, very harmonious wine, it should be at its best from 2021 onwards."
18/20 Tim Jackson MW, JancisRobinson.com, July 2019 (2017 Vintage)
"First vintage. 100% Mendoza clone Chardonnay from Skeetfield Vineyard. 24-year-old, dry-farmed vines. Fermented in New Zealand’s only Taransaud Ovum, 2,000-litre French oak egg. Pale-mid gold. Marine, saline, oyster-shell tone to pure, yellow-apple fruit. Hazelnut and some struck match. Vibrant acidity and a mealy, textured mid palate, with oak spice touches and salinity. Long."