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This is Tony Bish's 'consumer friendly' version of orange (skin contact) chardonnay. Tony writes "I have tried many ‘Orange’ wines that have been fermented on skins and left for long periods to age on skins, and to be honest, I usually find them excessively phenolic, bitter and often oxidative. So I have tried a very different approach! Handpicked Chardonnay was gentle de-stemmed through a specialist Socma destemmer, resulting in whole berries and no stems. We then foot crushed the berries before fermenting in an open top fermenter in a chilled barrel room. As soon as the ferment was dry, we transferred the young wine to a concrete egg for 11 months maturation."
We think that it's a bright wine with layers of citrus freshness and while there is some obvious funky skin contact complexity, the appeal for commercial Chardonnay fans remains. It's a tangy and exciting release from a producer better known for nailing the classical Hawkes Bay Chardonnay style.
The winery writes "This skin-fermented Chardonnay was foot crushed, hand plunged through a natural ferment, and matured inside one of our concrete eggs to build texture and balance. Drink now or cellar for rewards."