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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
    Image of winery
    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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    MSW30193063_2016 Item# 275617