Ant MacKenzie Wines at Decanta Tapas Bar

Along with about 60 other club members, I attended the Decanta Tapas Bar Wine Club tasting with Ant from Ant Mackenzie Wines last Tuesday. It was a great opportunity for me to catch up with Ant and taste his new range of wines, none of which I had previously.


Ant has a wealth of experience in the NZ Wine Industry working for Dry River, Kidnapper Cliffs and Te Awa as General Manager/ Chief Winemaker, Mud House Wine Group as Group Chief Winemaker, Spy Valley Wines as Chief Winemaker/ Production Manager and Framingham Wine Company as Winemaker. He has spent vintages in Australia and the USA along with study trips to Europe which have opened his mind and palate to the wines of the world. He currently consults for seven wineries and is a tasting panelist for WineNZ Magazine.

In 2013 after 20 years of making wines for other people Ant Mackenzie and his wife Fiona launched Ant MacKenzie Wines from their Craft Farm property in Havelock North. They now have three labels / brands under which Ant produces several varieties and blends from his own vineyards and others around the Hawke’s Bay region including the Gimblet Gravels and the Bridge Pa Triangle –  here are the 3 labels!

Toño (TonYo) -the wines are a modern take on Spanish winemaking heritage, grown in the sunny Hawke’s Bay.

Theory & Practice - these wines showcase the best qualities of the wine regions in a contemporary style.

Craft Farm – a special range of wines are classic single site expressions that showcase the essence of varietal and place.

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Wines tasted on the night along with lovely finger food / tapas from the Decanta kitchen (cheers guys) were, in order followed by my notes (still getting over a head cold too!)

Toño Albarino 2015
Pale straw, lovely floral notes, green apple & stone-fruit, limey citrus & grapefruit – crisp and refreshing… 13% Alc. RRP $21.95

Theory & Practice Chardonnay 2015 –
Bright gold, toasty oak, butterscotch, stone-fruit, little bit of creaminess from malo- ferment / lees, nicely balanced with fresh ‘Chablis’ style finish… 14% Alc. RRP $21.95

Craft Farm Chardonnay 2015
Pale gold, toasty oak, tart grape-fruity citrus acidity, full bodied, textured, elegant, beautifully integrated chardy… 13% Alc. RRP $34.95

Craft Farm Gewurztraminer 2014
Pale lemon, aromatic and perfumed sweet nose, spices, orange/lemon rind, slightly oily, warm long finish… Spicy Asian food comes to mind! 14.5% Alc. RRP $29.95

Toño Rosado 2015
Mostly Merlot with a touch of Tempranillo – Soft salmon pink with fragrant strawberries and florals, crisp and off dry – a pretty wine to sip chilled as we head into spring / summer… 13% Alc. RRP $21.95

Toño Tempranillo 2014
Deep purple in colour, sweet fruit and dark berries on the nose, subtle oak, plums and silky tannins with a lovely warm finish – a little bit Spain from the Hawke’s Bay… 13.5% Alc. RRP $21.95

Theory & Practice Merlot 2015
Deep cherry red, earth / herbal, dark plums, coffee, fine tannins, subtle oak, big bodied, big alcohol but balanced – I found it a a little youthful (green) needs aging like all good reds do! 14.5% Alc. RRP 21.95

Theory & Practice Syrah 2014
Deep plum dark cherry, dark berries, herbal & tobacco nose, meaty gamey, rich fruit flavours, layered and complex! 13% Alc. RRP $21.95

Craft Farm Syrah 2014
My fave wine of the night – Deep red cherry / purple in colour, leather, smoke plums and spice, intense fruit flavours, lovely weight on the palate,  integrated tannins / oak components,  an elegant yet powerful wine. 13% Alc. RRP $39.95

Thanks again to Ant for coming over and sharing his passion, knowledge and his beautiful wines with us, and for the generous lucky draw prizes too. Cheers from all at Decanta!


To find out more visit Ant’s Website –
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