Babich 2015 ‘Irongate’ Chardonnay and Red, and 2014 ‘The Patriarch’

The Babich ‘Irongate’ and ‘The Patriarch’ are the flagship wines for the Babich family and company. The ‘Irongate’ Chardonnay and Cabernet/Merlot/Franc blend are single vineyard wines with a pedigree stretching hack to 1985 and 1986 respectively, and have faithfully represented the Gimblett Gravels region from the start. The winemaking is traditional and has not changed significantly over the three decades of production, though there has been the inclusion of the benefits of viticultural and vinification advances in that time. In the Chardonnay, the winemakers have occasionally employed a portion of MLF, partly because of the use of wild ferments and if the growing season suited its usage. I’ve participated in vertical tastings of these wines, and can report a remarkable consistency, but the wines also reflect their vintages and growing seasons, as single vineyard wines ought to.

The Patriarch is the very best wine that the Babich family make, named in honour of company founder and industry pioneer Josip Babich. It is the best red possible from the ‘Irongate’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels and made only in the best years, the style not dictated by variety or blend. The wine was first made in the mid-1990s, I believe with the 1996 vintage. Here, I review the new release 2015 ‘Irongate’ Chardonnay and Red, and 2014 ‘The Patriarch’.


  • Babich ‘Irongate’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015
  • Babich ‘Irongate’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot/Franc 2015
  • Babich ‘The Patriarch’ Hawke’s Bay 2014

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