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Featured Reviews

Tony Bish ‘Golden Egg’ Chardonnay 2015

02 June,2016
The concept of fermenting wine in an egg-shaped, concrete container has been explored by a number of avante garde producers for a number of years. Proponents of concrete egg fermenters espouse the unique movement or convection currents of wine within the egg during fermentation which result in greater integration as well as the increase in textures, and a more natural oxygenation of the wine without oak input. The egg becomes coated with lees, which increases the exposure to the wine which lends a "structural minerality”.

Tony Bish in partnership with Josh Winters, a concrete expert, started producing concrete fermentation eggs in New Zealand because the cost of importing them was prohibitive. The actualisation of the product has been intensive and detailed. The two designed the shape of the egg, and the concrete used is inert, acid resistant and very dense. The eggs have a capacity of 1,600 L and weight approx. 2 tonnes. Bish and Winters are now the fourth producer of fermenting eggs in the world and the New Zealand eggs join those made in France and America. Tony has used three for his own wine in 2016. The concrete fermenter eggs are produced at Josh Winters’ company N.Z. Tanks and sold by Tony Bish’s company KTB Brokerage for $13,000.00. To date, half a dozen other wineries have been supplied the egg fermenters, with further orders pending.

Here, I review the Tony Bish ‘Golden Egg’ Chardonnay 2015, made with a concrete egg fermenter.


Tony Bish ‘Golden Egg’ Te Awanga Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Brilliant light yellow colour with slight green-gold hues, pale on the rim. The nose is softly full and harmoniously layered with aromas of yellow stonefruits along with subtle notes of citrus fruit and a suggestion of tropical fruits. Flinty and nutty lees and reductive detail lend beautiful complexing interest as the aromatics build in intensity and finesse. Medium-full bodied, the fruit flavours of ripe white and yellow stonefruits are rich, but stylishly restrained, and unfold notes of citrus fruits and hints of tropical fruits. Beautifully integrated and layered flinty, minerally and nutty detail add to the harmonious complexity on palate. The mouthfeel is smooth-flowing, near seamless in texture, and enlivened by poised, lacy acidity. The palate carries to a long and sustained finish of citrus and flinty flavours. This is a rich, but beautifully refined and elegant, contemporary Chardonnay with harmonious flavours of stonefruits and complexing flinty layers, on a seamless, refreshing palate. Serve with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 5 years. Hand-picked Mendoza clone Chardonnay from Te Awanga from 8 y.o. vines, WBP, the free run juice fermented in concrete egg, and in one new barrique to 13.5% alc., the wine being a blend of 1,500 L egg wine and that from the one barrique. The wine was aged 12 months on lees with 100% MLF. 19.0/20 Jun 2016 RRP $35.00
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