The warm sunny days and cool night of the Marlborough Region are ideally suited to ripening the Riesling grape. The 2004 season was long and late producing exquisitely flavoured, low yielding grapes.
Nice on its own or try it with Chinese style stir- fried chicken or sweet-and-sour pork.
The nose is greeted by a delicate, yet not shy, floral scent of orange blossom with hints of lime. The medium weighted palate is sweet fruited and juicy with apple/citrus flavours predominating over wild floral notes. An agreeable minerality lingers on the dry finish. This is an elegant and stylish wine with perfect balance.
In 1916, pioneer wine maker Josip Babich fashioned his first New Zealand wine - this was the beginning of what was to become Babich Wines. In 1910, as a boy of fourteen, Josip Babich left Dalmatia (part of modern-day Croatia) to join his brothers toiling in the gumfields of the far north of New Zealand. The shift to Henderson Valley came in 1919. On a 24-hectare wilderness property, Joe and his wife Mara established a small orchard and planted classical Meunier wines.
During the Second World War, winemaking slowly became the family's major business activity. By the 1950s, son Peter had joined the company and the 1960s saw the emergence of Joe Babich Junior as winemaker. With Peter and Joe Babich at the helm, Babich has been transformed from a small, predominantly fortified wine producer into a modern winery renown for producing world-class wines.
Today the Babich Winery, lying in the rolling country at Henderson in West Auckland, is one of New Zealand's largest family-owned wine companies.
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Sitting pretty on the northern tip of New Zealand's south island, Marlborough has become synonymous with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. As well it should be – Marlborough is the primary region for those delicious, citrusy, summer-lovin' wines with vibrant acidity and pungent, grassy, grapefruit flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is the main grape here; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling are also made.
The region has well-drained alluvial loam soils, which are perfect for grape growing. The grapes receive a good deal of sunshine during the day, but recovers in the cool evenings. Marlborough's growing season is long, which helps foster the gradual, even ripening of the grapes. Not made for much aging, the Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough are of the buy ‘em and drink ‘em class of wine. Expect little vintage variation here - quantity differs more than quality.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.