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
4.5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 vintage)
"Offering great value, the 2015 vintage (4.5*) was grown near the coast, hand-harvested, fermented and matured for 10 months in French oak barrels (28 per cent new), and given a full, softening malolactic fermentation. Light lemon/green, it has a complex bouquet, leading into a mouthfilling, savoury palate with generous, ripe, peachy, slightly mealy and nutty flavours, showing good complexity, balanced acidity, and a well-rounded, persistent finish. It's already delicious."
93/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim (2015 vintage)
"This is an excellent follow up to the delectable 2014 offering, exhibiting ripe stone fruit, vibrant citrus and oatmeal characters with stylish infusion of cedar and vanilla. The palate delivers lovely fruit intensity and rich texture, together with creamy mouthfeel, backed by bright acidity. This generous expression is sure to be another winner. At its best: now to 2019. $25.00. www.antswines.co.nz. April 2016."
92/100 Bob Campbell (2015 vintage)
"Fresh, vibrant, high energy chardonnay with citrus, grapefruit and white peach flavours plus a sensitive seasoning of subtle oak and nutty yeast lees character. Appealing wine offering good value at this price. "
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