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Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Misha’s Vineyard ‘The High Note’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
Millton ‘Les Trois Enfants’ 2017
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Escarpment Vineyard 2016 Martinborough, ‘Kiwa’, ‘Te Rehua’ and ‘Kupe’ Pinot Noirs
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Decibel Wines 2017 Sauvignon, and 2016 Rosé, Pinot Noir, Malbec and ‘Testify’
Coco di Mama 2016 Terre Siciliane Grillo and Syrah
Mt Beautiful 2017 Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
McArthur Ridge Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Dunleavy ‘The Strip’ Waiheke Island Cabernet/Merlot 2015
Wooing Tree 2017 ‘Beetle Juice’ and 2013 ‘Sandstorm Reserve’ Pinot Noirs
Terrace Edge 2017 North Canterbury Albarino and Pinot Gris
Anna’s Way Marlborough 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris
Obsidian 2016 ‘Estate’ Syrah, ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2017, Viognier 2015, ‘Mayor’ 2016 and ‘Obsidian’ 2014
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Featured Reviews




Babich ‘Family Estate’ 2017 White and 2016 Pinot Noir Releases

04 April,2018

Arguably the most interesting of the Babich wines come under the ‘Family Estates’ tier. These are wines which come from specific company vineyards that show a distinctive character that reflects the site. An interpretation is that these wines demonstrate terroir. The ‘Family Estate’ wines to date have come from the ‘Headwaters’ Wairau Valley, ‘Cowslip Valley’ Waihopi Valley, ‘Tetley Brook’, Awatere and ‘Wakefield Downs’ Awatere vineyards in Marlborough, and the ‘Fernhill’ and ‘Gimblett Gravels’ vineyards in Hawke’s Bay. Babich own a number of other single vineyards which may I suspect may appear in the ’Family Estates’ range at some time in the future. For 2018, Babich have launched their wines with reworked labelling. This is most obvious with the ‘Family Estates’ and ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ wines. There is a much tighter commonality between all the Babich ranges now. Here, I review a selection of new ‘Family Estate’ wines, 2017 vintage for the whites, and 2016 for a Pinot Noir. www.babichwines.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Babich ‘Family Estates’ ‘Single Vineyard – Cowslip Valley’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17+/20

Brilliant, light straw-yellow colour, paler on the rim. The nose is initially a little restrained in expression with a soft heart of gooseberry fruit entwined with cut-grass, net and cool-spectrum notes, along with fresh herbs and green capsicums. This builds in depth with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and vibrant fruit flavours of gooseberries along with tropical fruits and green stonefruits, and subtle notes of cool-spectrum cut-grass elements and nuances of green capsicums. The mouthfeel is lively with fresh, lacy acidity, and the wine flows easily along a very fine line, leading to a thirst-quenching, zesty finish. This is a juicy and rich, vibrant and lively Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry and tropical fruit notes, and subtle cool-spectrum elements. Match with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Cowslip Valley’ vineyard, Waihopai, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.43% alc. and 4.2 g/L RS, the wine aged 3 months on lees. 17.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.95

Babich ‘Family Estates’ ‘Single Vineyard – Headwaters’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Marlborough

17/20

Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour, a little lighter-edged. The nose is taut and fresh with tightly bound aromas of gooseberries, green capsicums and cut-grass, along with savoury herbs. This has a good core, showing an amalgam of minerals with suggestions of green beans. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has breadth and depth, with mouthfilling flavours of gooseberries, green capsicums, cut-grass and notes of savoury herbs with green beans. The flavours are up-front and the palate has good vigour and energy, with crisp acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The wine flows along a light, dry-textured line, leading to a moderately long finish. This is an up-front, mouthfilling Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of gooseberries, capsicums and beans on a vigorous palate with light, dry textures. Match with salads and vegetables, and Mediterranean cuisine over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Headwaters’ vineyard, Wairau, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS, 30% of the wine undergoing MLF. Certified BioGro organic. 17.0/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.95

Babich ‘Family Estates’ ‘Single Vineyard – Headwaters’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5-/20

Full, even, straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is soft and gently voluminous with fragrant aromas of yellow stonefruits and exotic florals, interwoven with spicy and mineral elements. This has a soft density and finesse of expression. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a soft-textured and gently mouthfilling flavours of yellow stonefruits lifted by exotic florals, along with notes of quince and spice, revealing subtle chalky mineral nuances. The palate has light, refreshing, zesty acidity, and the wine flows along a softly textured line with a fine phenolic thread leading to an elegant, slender, lingering finish. This is a softly mouthfilling, gently textured dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral, spice and mineral flavours. Match with Asian cuisine over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the ‘Headwaters’ vineyard, Wairau, fully-tank fermented with indigenous yeasts to 12.5% alc. and 0.8 g/L RS, the wine aged 7 months on lees with some batonnage and 50% MLF. Certified BioGro organic. 17.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.95

Babich ‘Family Estates’ ‘Single Vineyard – Headwaters’ Marlborough Albarino 2017

Other White from New Zealand – Marlborough

17+/20

Brilliant, light straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and tightly bound, quite elegant in expression with delicately penetrating aromas of pure white florals along with subtle notes of citrus fruit, white stonefruits and minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has taut, but intense flavours of white stonefruits, white florals, and citrus fruit. The palate is brisk and racy with zesty acidity, with the wine showing excellent energy and drive. This flows along a very fine-textured line, carrying to a slim, but intense and sustained finish. This is an elegant, but intensely flavoured dry Albarino with stonefruit, floral and citrus fruit flavours on a zesty palate with drive and linearity. Fruit from the ‘Headwaters’ vineyard, Wairau, fully tank-fermented to 11.61% alc. and 8 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months on lees. Certified BioGro organic. 17.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.95

Babich ‘Family Estates’ ‘Single Vineyard – Headwaters’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth and slight pale golden hues, lighter edged. The nose is softly fresh and broad in expression, with aromas of yellow stonefruits along with subtle nutty notes and a layering of lemon-curd MLF and hints of creamy barrel-ferment. The nose is refreshing and youthful. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich and vigorous flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, and citrus fruits entwined with soft, nutty oak and hints of creamy barrel-ferment, unveiling an overlay of lemon-curd MLF. This has good weight and presence, the flavours filling the mouth, and the palate is enlivened by fresh acidity. The wine is carried positively by light, grainy, phenolic textures to a long and lingering, fulsome finish. This is a full and vigorous Chardonnay with stonefruit, citrus, nutty, and lemon-curd MLF flavours. Match with grilled and roasted seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Headwaters’ vineyard, Wairau, 60% tank-fermented and 40% in barrel, 70% by indigenous yeasts to 12.86% alc., the barrel portion aged 8 months in oak, with 20% of the blend in new oak, both portions undergoing batonnage with 30% MLF. Certified BioGro organic. 17.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $24.95

Babich ‘Family Estates’ ‘Single Vineyard – Headwaters’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough

17.5-/20

Even, light ruby-red colour, paler on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with a firm and well-packed core of red cherry and dark-red berry fruit interwoven with aromas of dark herbs and a subtle, piquant, reductive minerally nuance. This has aromatic intensity and unfolds dark-red florals with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has juicy, succulent and luscious flavours of red cherry fruit entwined with a subtle layering of dark herbs and hints of red florals, and reductive hints. The mouthfeel is supple with light and fine-grained tannin structure, and the palate has freshness enhanced by bright acidity. This has a finely concentrated line and the wine carries to a lingering finish of cherries and herbs. This is an elegant, juicy and succulent red cherry fruited Pinot Noir with herbal and mineral detail on a supple palate. Serve with antipasto, and with salmon and tuna, and poultry dishes over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Headwaters’ vineyard, Wairau, clones 45% 114, 28% 667 and 27% 777, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine ages 11 months in 30% new oak. Certified BioGro organic. 17.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $39.95

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