Happenings from the vineyards, wineries and roads travelled between.

Sam Kim reviews 2017

Our friend Sam Kim has had a good look at the new release Toño wines along with a comparison of our two Chardonnay bottlings and two Syrah bottlings.

 Toño releases are from the last three vintages, not a normal approach but that is the way it happened!  Our new release Rosado is from 2017, the Albarino and Tempranillo from 2016 and a very interesting new wine called Mas o Menos-a blend of Syrah, Tempranillo and some Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Chardonnays are from the 2016 vintage, Craft Farm being off our home vineyard in Havelock North and Theory & Practice which is a blend of vineyards we either own or lease along with two components from wine-making clients Askerne Estate  and Alchemy Wines.

The Craft Farm Syrah is, as always, from the Lyons Vineyard in Bridge Pa.  Theory & Practice Syrah is a blend of fruit mainly from the Highway 50 area, on stony vineyards, and some fruit from the Bridge Pa area.  Both wines are from the 2015 vintage.

Toño Albarino 2016 Hawke’s Bay 93 5
A fabulous expression of the variety, the attractively fruited bouquet shows white stone fruit, rockmelon, lemon peel and floral characters with a hint of pepper spice. The palate is juicy and concentrated, and delivers vibrant mouthfeel backed by bright acidity, leading to a persistent crisp finish. At its best: now to 2019. $22.00. Nov 2017.


Toño Rosado 2017 Hawke’s Bay 91 4.5
Delightfully dry and elegantly fragrant, this tasty rosé offers lifted aromas of floral, watermelon, rockmelon and strawberry on the nose, followed by a succulent palate that is nicely rounded and refreshing. The wine delivers attractive fruit flavours and smooth texture, finishing juicy and vibrant. At its best: now to 2019. $20.00. Nov 2017.


Toño Mas O Menos Syrah Tempranillo 2015 Hawke’s Bay 91 4.5
Beautifully ripe and perfumed, the inviting bouquet shows dark plum, blueberry, violet and fragrant spice aromas. It is succulent and rounded on the palate, and displays excellent fruit purity and vibrancy, wonderfully supported by silky texture and polished tannins. Very approachable and delectable. At its best: now to 2020. $20.00. Nov 2017.


Toño Tempranillo 2016 Hawke’s Bay 93 5
A gorgeous expression of this classic Spanish grape, the fragrant bouquet shows blackberry, raspberry, roasted beet, floral and subtle spice aromas. The palate is concentrated and silky, and delivers lovely pristine fruit flavours as well as soft spicy nuances, finishing persistent and delicately dry. A terrific food wine. At its best: now to 2020. $22.00. Nov 2017.


Theory & Practice Chardonnay 2016 Hawke’s Bay 93 5
This is opulent and delectable, displaying grilled peach, mango, vanilla, toasted hazelnut and subtle brioche characters on the nose. The palate is concentrated and richly fruited, and delivers excellent mid palate weight and creamy texture, leading to a superbly long and smooth finish. At its best: now to 2020. $25.00. Nov 2017.


Theory & Practice Syrah 2015 Hawke’s Bay 93 5
This fabulous syrah offers excellent fruit purity and vibrancy together with rounded mouthfeel and silky texture, wonderfully complemented by bright fruit flavours of dark plum, blueberry and cranberry with hints of spice and floral. The wine is youthfully charming and very approachable, and offers lovely drinking. At its best: now to 2020. $25.00. Nov 2017.



Craft Farm Chardonnay 2016 Hawke’s Bay 95 5
This is outstanding. The gorgeous bouquet shows ripe stone fruit, rockmelon, cedar, vanilla pod and oatmeal characters with a touch of flinty complexity. The palate is superbly weighted and fleshy, and exhibits delectable fruit flavours combined with stylish oak infusion, wonderfully complemented by silky texture and perfectly pitched acidity. Multi-layered and engaging, and offers terrific drinking. At its best: now to 2021. $40.00. Nov 2017.


Craft Farm Syrah 2015 Hawke’s Bay 96 5
Expressing precision and purity, this impeccably composed syrah shows dark and purple fruits with nuances of cedar, violet and warm spice. The palate is concentrated and impressively weighted, while remaining elegant and refined, delivering fleshy mouthfeel and silky texture backed by loads of polished tannins. A magnificent wine promising to evolve gracefully. At its best: 2018 to 2025. $45.00. Nov 2017.