RECENT FEATURES




Greystone 2018 Rosé and Thistle Ridge Pinot Noir 2017
The Elder Martinborough Rosé 2018
Brookfields 2018 Ohiti Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Bergman Chardonnay, and 2016 Hillside Syrah and Gold Label Cabernet Merlot
Charles Wiffen 2018 Pinot Rosé and 2016 Chardonnay
Alexander ‘Raumati’ Martinborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
Decibel 2018 Viognier, 2017 Malbec and 2018 Giunta Malbec Nouveau
Newman’s Own ‘Common Good’ 2016 California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
Wild Earth Central Otago 2018 Pinot Rosé, and 2017 Pinot Gris and Riesling
Mt Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Gris 2017
Mount Brown North Canterbury Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
Negociants N.Z. Global Reach in Wine Distribution
Ceres ‘Black Rabbit’ Riesling 2018 and ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir 2017
Wing and Prayer North Canterbury Riesling 2017
Two Rivers 2018 ‘Convergence’ Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Clos des Pierres’ Chardonnay 2017 and ‘Tributary’ Pinot Noir 2016
SOHO Wines Show Diversity, Breadth and Quality
Vino Lascito Rubicone Sangiovese 2016
Burn Cottage ‘Moonlight Race’ Pinot Noir 2016
Mud House 2018 Marlborough, ‘Grovetown’ and Waipara ‘Home Block’ Pinot Gris
Fox in the Hen House Australian Reds
Starborough Marlborough 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and 2017 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Gibbston Valley ‘China Terrace’ Chardonnay 2017 and 2016, and ‘GV’ Pinot Noir 2017
McManis California Chardonnay 2017
Yalumba with a Selection of Y-Series Whites and Reds, and ‘The Scribbler’ 2016
Clark Estate Marlborough 2018, 2017 and 2016 Releases
Mahi Marlborough 2016 Chardonnay and 2017 Pinot Noir
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews




Babich ‘Classics’ and ‘Black Label’ 2017 Releases

03 April,2018

The Babich family have one of the remarkable stories of the New Zealand wine industry, stretching back over 100 years to 1916. I recently reviewed the book ‘The Next Vintage’ by Michael and Judith Bassett which chronicles the family history and its very significant place in the growth of winemaking in this country (click here to see). One of the mainstay philosophies of the family is to provide quality with value, and this can be seen in the ‘Classics’ range of wines which makes up the largest part of the company’s production. These wines showcase varietal expression and regionality, and always offer good value.

The Babich ‘Black Label’ wines were created in 2005 specifically for the on-premise market, designed to offer the same degree of varietal and regional expression. The range supports the whole Babich portfolio for having wines that are designated only for this segment of the market, thus enduring there is no commercial conflict with other marketing and reselling channels. The wines are indeed different blends to the ‘Classics’, in that the winemakers are lending the wines slightly greater richness and textures that will give the wines a greater ability to work with food. Here, I review a selection of new releases from the ‘Classics’ and ‘Black Label’ ranges, all from the 2017 vintage. www.babichwines.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Babich Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Marlborough

16.5/20

Bright, pale strawberry pink with peach hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose os softly fresh with aromas of strawberry fruit along with watermelon and subtle mineral notes. The aromatics are gently packed and concentrated, unfolding delicate red floral elements. Dry to taste and light-medium boded, the palate has light and delicate flavours of strawberries and soft red floral notes, along with subtle notes of minerals. The palate has a fresh mouthfeel with lacy acidity and good presence, the wine flowing along a smooth line, leasing to a light, clean finish. This is a light-flavoured dry rosê with strawberry and floral notes, on a gentle flowing, fresh palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. Clones 10/5, 115, 667 and 777 from Rapaura, given 3 hours skin contact and fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and dryness. 16.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $19.95

Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5-/20

Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with light green hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegantly concentrated with a rich core of passionfruit and tropical fruit entwined with fresh herb aromas, along with soft notes of nettles and cut-grass. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has moderately rich and gently succulent flavours of passionfruit and tropical fruit with subtle notes of fresh herbs and delicate nuances of nettles and cut-grass. The mouthfeel is bright and refreshing with zesty acidity, and the wine flows along a fine line carrying to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a softly rich and succulent, passionfruity Sauvignon Blanc with a fresh mouthfeel and a lively line. Serve as an aperitif and with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Marlborough fruit fermented in stainless-steel, a portion with indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc. and 3.6 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $19.95

Babich Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

16.5+/20

Full, even straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues. The nose is softly full with good depth and presence of white and yellow stonefruits, along with an amalgam of exotic herbs and rose-petal florals, and subtle notes of honeysuckle and nutty notes. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a subtle, mouthfilling presence with light, lifted flavours of white stonefruits along with exotic florals and some confectionary and honeysuckle nuances. The palate is bright and vigorous with fresh underlying acidity, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line, leading to an elegant, nuanced finish. This is a delicate flavoured dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral, confectionary and honeysuckle notes on a palate with good mouthfeel. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese fare over the next 2+ years. Marlborough fruit given some skin contact and tank-fermented with 5% in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc. and 3.4 g/L RS, the wine aged 4 months on lees with some batonnage and 30% MLF. 16.5+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $19.95

Babich Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with pale green-gold hues, lighter edged. The nose is fresh and light with elegant aromas of bright white stonefruits and citrus fruit, along with herbal elements. This is refreshing, clear and focussed, quite pure and uncomplicated. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has fresh, clean and uncomplicated flavours of white stionefruits and some citrus fruit notes. The fruit is pure in expression with focus and an elegant core, and the wine is enlivened by fresh acidity. The wine flows with some energy and tension to a light, dry finish. This is a clean, pure, focussed but uncomplicated Chardonnay on a fresh palate. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 2 years. Hawke’s Bay fruit, clones 15, 6 and 5, fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 4 g/L RS, the wine undergoing 15% MLF. 16.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $19.95

Babich Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

16.5+/20

Light ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is moderately deep with fresh and fragrant aromas of red cherry and raspberry fruit along with herbal nuances and a little red floral lift. This is bright and primary in expression, and unfolds some nutty oak elements with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate is bright, vibrant and juicy with fresh fruit flavours of cherries and raspberries entwined with fragrant florals and herbal nuances. The fruit and mouthfeel is enlivened by refreshing, lacy acidity with very light tannin extraction. The fruit has good vitality and the wine carries to a juicy, aromatic finish. This is a bright, lively and juicy Pinot Noir with cherry and raspberry fruit along with floral and herbal hints. Serve with antipasto and tapas, with salmon and tuna, and poultry dishes over the next 2+ years. Fruit from the Waihopai, Wairau and Awatere Valleys fermented to 12.6% alc., with approx. 40% of the wine aged 7 months in 15% European oak. 16.5+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.95

Babich ‘Black Label’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20

Bright, light straw-yellow colour, paler on the rim. The nose is fresh with a firm core of well-concentrated aromas of passionfruit with notes of snow peas, fresh herbs, and subtle nettle and cut-grass elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is firm and tightly concentrated with a heart of passionfruit and tropical fruit, along with cut-grass, nettle and thirst-quenching minerals. The palate features slippery acidity and plenty of energy and drive, with good linearity. The wine carries to a taut, lingering finish of passionfruit, herbs and nettles. This is a tightly bound, finely concentrated Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit, herb, nettle and mineral flavours with a slippery mouthfeel and good line. Serve as an aperitif, with seafood, and salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. Marlborough estate fruit fermented in stainless-steel, a portion by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc. and 3.2 g/L RS, with 15% of the wine undergoing MLF. 17.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP On-premise only

Babich ‘Black Label’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

17+/20

Brilliant, even, light straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and elegant in proportion with a fine core of white and yellow stonefruits along with lifted exotic floral elements, hints of rose-petals and spice, and herb and honeysuckle detail. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated heart with rich fruit flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, melded with soft exotic floral notes and honeysuckle. The palate has good weight, depth and presence, and is enlivened by fresh, cutting acidity, the wine flowing smoothly along a soft, rounded line with a suggestion of unctuousness, leading to a light, floral finish. This is an elegantly concentrated dry Pinot Gris with rich stonefruit, floral and honied flavours on a fresh, smooth-flowing palate. Match with Asian cuisine over the next 2+ years. Marlborough fruit, 70% from the ‘Echelon’. 20% ‘Cowslip Valley’ and 10% ‘Headwaters’ sites, fermented in stainless-steel with 17% in seasoned oak by indigenous yeasts to 13.33% alc. and 3.3 g/L RS, the barrel portion undergoing batonnage and the tank portion aged 5 months on lees. 17.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP On-premise only

Babich ‘Black Label’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

16.5+/20

Bright, pale straw colour, lighter edged. The nose is elegant with moderate depth and concentration of white and yellow stonefruits, along with subtle notes of citrus fruit, and suggestions of fragrant, nutty detail. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is fresh and bright with lightly concentrated flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, entwined with subtle nutty notes, and hints of cream from the MLF. The mouthfeel is refreshing and bright, with fine, lacy acidity, and the wine flows with good energy and tension, carrying to a clean, dry finish of stonefruits and nuts. This is a fresh, bright, finely concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruit and hints of nutty and creamy detail. Serve with seafood and poultry over the next 2- 3 years. Fruit from Gimblett Road and Fernhill, fully fermented in tank to 13.24% alc., the wine aged 5 months on lees with oak contact equivalent to 20% new, and 20% MLF 16.5+/20 Apr 2018 RRP On-premise only

Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny