With an impressive line of credits to his name, Ant MacKenzie is consultant winemaker at a number of first class wineries including one of New Zealand's very most premium and cellar-focused producers, Dry River. Yet he and his wife Fiona still find time on the side to run three labels of their own: Craft Farm wines reflect their own home block in Havelock North; the Tono label explores their love of Spanish varieties such as Albarino and Tempranillo, which are done with genuine love and knowledge; while Theory and Practice is conceived as a platform for Ant to push the boundaries of traditional vinification. This latter point is somewhat hard to grasp however, as the current Theory and Practice releases seem far from experimental but are, on the contrary, among the most concentrated and stylishly classical expressions to have been seen from Hawkes Bay for the price.
What The Critics Say
17.5/20 Raymond Chan
"Very dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. This has a full, up-front and bold nose of ripe dark raspberry and red berry fruits infused with subtle layers of pepper, herbs and stalks, unfolding dark red and violet floral notes in the glass. Medium-full bodied, fresh, juicy and plush flavours of rich dark raspberries are melded with dark herbs. The palate has good depth and the flavours well-packed to form a rounded, weighty core. The fruit is supported by supple, accessible tannins and enlivened by lacy acidity, carrying the flavours to a sweet-fruited finish of raspberries and herbs. This is an up-front, fleshy and juicy Tempranillo in the Spanish Joven style with a supple and rounded mouthfeel. Match with barbecued fare and grilled or roasted red meat dishes over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the Lyons vineyard, Bridge Pa, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with 50% whole clusters to 13.0% alc., the wine bottled without oak maturation. 17.5+/20 Mar 2015 RRP $25."
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