Happenings from the vineyards, wineries and roads travelled between.

Tono reviews from Raymond Chan

Tono 2017 Rosado, 2016 Albarino and Tempranillo, and 2015 Mas o Menos

The ‘Tono’ label is Ant Mackenzie’s take on Spanish wine varieties and style made from Hawke’s Bay fruit.  Tono is the familiar nickname of Antonio in Spanish, or Anthony or Tony in English, which, of course refers to Ant.  The wines are a modern interpretation of Spain and meant to convey fun, deliciousness and the Hawke’s Bay lifestyle.  They are very different and thus complementary to the more ‘conventional’ Hawke’s Bay wines he makes, these being ‘Alluviale’, ‘Theory & Practice’, and ‘Craft Farm’.  The Tono wines have been well-received in the marketplace by consumers who appreciate their difference and understand the philosophy behind them.  To date, to my taste, they show very good quality and style.  Here, I review the 2017 Rosado, 2016 Albarino and Tempranillo, and a new wine, the ‘Mas o Menos’ which means ‘more or less’ in Spanish, and refers to the varying quantities of Tempranillo that the growing seasons yield.

Tono Hawke’s Bay Rosado 2017

Pale strawberry-peach pink colour with some depth, lighter edged.  The nose is softly fresh with subtle aromas of soft red berry fruit, white stonefruits and red florals along with mouthwatering mineral notes.  Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a gently concentrated core of fresh flavours of stonefruits with subtle red berries and red florals intermixed with thirst-quenching minerals.  The mouthfeel is refreshing with lacy acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line, leading to a clean, brisk finish.  This is a gently concentrated dry rosé with flavours of stonefruits, red fruits and florals and subtle minerally notes on a fresh, flowing palate.  Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years.  A blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo from the Havelock Hills, pressed together, and avoiding colour pick-up, fermented to 12.5% alc. and 7.0 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months on lees.  17.5+/20  Oct 2017  RRP $19.95

Tono Hawke’s Bay Albarino 2016

Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim.  This has a very fresh, aromatic nose showing bright white florals and white stonefruits, entwined with lime fruit, showing very good depth and concentration, unveiling some minerally elements.  Dry to taste and full-bodied, the palate has rich, deep and concentrated flavours of white stonefruits and florals, with citrus fruits and nuances of nuts and minerals.  The palate has fine, firm phenolic textures to balance the fruit depth, and refreshing, lacy acidity.  This has power and linearity, carrying the wine to a long, lingering, concentrated finish of stonefruits and citrus fruits, with floral lift.  This is a full-bodied dry Albarino with richness, weight and fine, firm textures and fresh acidity.  Match with seafood and poultry, or with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3 years.  Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Craft Farm’ vineyard, WBP and fermentation initialised in tank then transferred to tinaja (clay jars) and barrels, fermenting to 14.5% alc. and 2.0 g/L RS. TA 7.0 g/L and pH 3.4.  18.5/20  Oct 2017  RRP $21.95

Tono Hawke’s Bay Tempranillo 2016

Full, very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance.  The nose is full and well-packed with soft, plush and ripe fruit aromas of dark raspberries, blackberries and boysenberries with subtle notes of dark herbs and dark red florals, unfolding plum jam and earthy nuances.  Medium-full bodied, the palate is up-front with sweetly ripe, luscious primary fruit flavours of dark raspberries and boysenberries along with black fruit, floral and jam elements, unveiling herb and earthy detail.  The fruit forms a rounded, softly concentrated core.  The tannins are supple and provide a light, fine structure and the acidity is soft, enhancing the rounded mouthfeel.  The wine flows to a lingering, sweet-fruited finish of berries and jam.  This is an up-front sweetly rich, ripe and juicy Tempranillo with blackberry, raspberry and plum jam flavours with a soft, supple mouthfeel.  Match with barbecued fare over the next 3-4+ years.  Fruit from inland gravels sites, hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented with approx. 30% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in new and seasoned oak.  18.0/20  Oct 2017  RRP $21.95

Tono ‘Mas o Menos’ Syrah/Tempranillo Hawke’s Bay 2015  Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter edged and youthful in appearance.  The nose is firmly concentrated with aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants, along with dark raspberries and a layer of spice and earth, revealing a little funky game note.  Medium-full bodied, the palate has a firm core with flavours of blackcurrants, blackberries and dark raspberries entwined with spices and liquorice.  The palate possesses good depth and presence, with the fruit supported by fine, grainy tannin extraction and soft acidity lending some vibrancy.  The fruit and structure carry to an elegantly concentrated, long, sustained finish of raspberries, spice and liquorice.  This is a well-concentrated Syrah/Tempranillo/Cabernet blend with blackberry, dark raspberry and blackcurrant flavours on a fine-textural palate finishing with game, spice and liquorice flavours.  Match with slow-cooked red meats and casseroles over the next 5-6 years.  A blend of 55% Syrah, 30% Tempranillo and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from the ‘Lyons’ vineyard, Bridge Pa, the Syrah and Tempranillo indigenous yeast fermented with approx. 30% whole bunches, the wine aged 24 months in seasoned oak, with the Cabernet Sauvignon added after blending.  13.5% alc.  18.0+/20  Oct 2017  RRP $19.95