Babich 2014 Irongate Chardonnay and Cabernet Merlot Franc

The ‘Irongate’ label has been the special label for Babich for around 30 years. Introduced with a Chardonnay in 1985 and a Bordeaux-blended red the year following, the wines label had the cachet of representing the best wines for the Babich company, as well as coming from a single site in Hawke’s Bay. The wines spoke of longevity, with the Chardonnay avoiding MLF conversion, and the Bordeaux-blend particularly structured so that cellaring seemed essential. Vertical tastings of both ‘Irongate’ Chardonnays and Red have proven their cellar worthiness. Yet the wines spoke of complex detail and place, all at a time when such things were hardly spoken about in New Zealand. The wines have evolved with the times, the Chardonnay showing greater oak and lees sophistication and integration, and the red with better expression and harmony of varietal componenty. The fruit comes from the company owned ‘Irongate’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels which was set up next door to the original site, providing fruit for the label from 1997, as the original yineyard, not owned by the Babich family, began to show the detrimental effects of phylloxera on the ungrafted vines. Here, I review the new 2014 ‘Irongate’ Chardonnay and Red.


  • Babich ‘Irongate’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014
  • Babich ‘Irongate’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot/Franc 2014

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