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Babich Hawkes Bay Unoaked Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    13% ABV
    • WS88
    • WS90
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    13% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This Chardonnay has finely focused aroma of citrus and peach. Biscuit notes. Soft fruited entry, nectarine and toffee flavours. Good length.

    A versatile wine that will enhance a wide variety of dishes.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Babich

    Babich

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    Babich, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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    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.

    Hawkes Bay

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    An eclectic region on the east coast of the North Island, Hawkes Bay extends from wide, fertile, coastal plains, inland, to the coast range, whose peaks reach as high as 5,300 feet. While the flatter areas were historically more popular because they are easier to cultivate, their alluvial soils can be too fertile for vines. In the late 20th century, the drive for quality led growers to the hills where soils are free-draining, limestone-rich and more suited to producing high quality wines.

    Over the passing of time, the old Ngaruroro River laid down deep, gravelly beds, which were subsequently exposed after a huge flood in the 1860’s. In the 1980s growers identified this stretch, which continues for approximately 800 ha, and named it the Gimblett Gravels. The zone has proven to be ideal for the production of excellent red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

    Today the area takes well-earned recognition for its Bordeaux blends and other reds. Expressive of intense stewed red and black berry with gentle herbaceous characters, Gimblett Gravels wines are suggestive of their cool climate origin, and on par with other top-notch Bordeaux blends around the globe.

    Chardonnay is the top white grape in Hawkes Bay, making elegant wines, strong in stone fruit character. Sauvignon blanc comes in close behind, notable for its tropical, fruit forward qualities.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

    MSW30193063_2016 Item# 275617