Babich Black Label and Winemakers’ Reserve 2015 Whites and 2014 Reds

The Babich ‘Black Label’ and ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ ranges are special and stand apart tiers for the company. The ‘Black Label’ range has been designed for sale only in the on-premise sector, so that the wines are exclusive and the pricing not discounted if placed in FMCG. Joe Babich told me the wines were made with higher quality than the ‘Classics’ range in mind, with a critical selection of tanks and barrels in the process. The wines should have more interest and body, and be more satisfying, and most importantly complement food. The first ‘Black Label’ release was a Sauvignon Blanc from the 2005 vintage, with Pinot Gris coming in 2009, and now a Pinot Noir from 2014.

The ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ range has long been the playground for the Babich winemaking team, seeking to increase quality through lower yields and complexing winemaker inputs. Over the years, these trials and inputs have been done relatively conservatively. So there have been modest use of indigenous yeasts, lees work and oaking for the likes of the Sauvignon Blanc. Again, Joe Babich has revealed that there is the intention to increase the use of more sophisticated and edgy techniques for bot whites and reds in coming years. In true Babich fashion, it’ll happen quietly, but surely. Here, I review a selection of ‘Black Label’ and ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ wines, the whites from 2015 and the reds from 2014.


  • Babich ‘Black Label’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Babich ‘Black Label’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015
  • Babich ‘Black Label’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014
  • Babich ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015
  • Babich ‘Winemakers’ Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014

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