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Hawke's Bay Merlot

Babich Winemakers’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot is produced from a special selection of grapes grown in the stony soils of our Babich vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels sub-region of Hawke’s Bay. It displays a wealth of berry fruit and plum aromas, balanced by full-flavoured, soft tannin finish.

TASTING NOTES

Aromas of forest berries, floral notes, vanilla and a hint of black pepper. Sweet and darkly fruited entry and mid-palate with soft tannins. Medium weight and supple with liquorice and spice joining on the finish. Well balanced and charming.

These grapes were harvested, after a long steady ripening through late summer/ early autumn, from in Hawke’s Bay. The fruit was fermented in open vats with frequent plunging of the “cap”. After an extended period on skins young wine was drained to new (25%) and old French oak for maturation for a period of 8 months.

The sweet fruit flavours, edged by savoury oak make this award winning wine an ideal partner to red meat dishes. Try it with pan-fried lamb cutlets, or with braised beef spooned over mashed potatoes.

TASTING NOTES

Dark Doris plum, sweet with vanilla, spice aromas with and a touch of oak. Supple and sweet fruited with a savoury complexity. Good volume and length with a warm cocoa note lingering on the finish.

Fermentation took place in open stainless steel vats. Frequent hand plunging of the cap controlled temperature and aided tannin and colour extraction. After 19 days contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After twelve months in French barrel (25% new) the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

The sweet-fruited soft finish makes it an ideal partner for ratatouille, or equally as good with Italian-style meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce.

"The elegant, slightly lighter, 2016 vintage was French oak-aged for a year.  Full coloured, it is fresh and full-bodied, with strong plum and spice flavours, savoury and complex, and obvious potential. Best drinking 2020+"
4.5 STARS - Michael Cooper, www.michaelcooper.co.nz, July 2019

TASTING NOTES

Aromas of Blueberry, plum and fruit-cake. Upfront fruit sweetness, very even density throughout, spice, vanilla raspberries and darker fruits. Well integrated oak. Mouth-filling and long.

Fermentation took place in open vats. Frequent hand plunging of the cap controlled temperature and aided tannin and colour extraction. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After fifteen months in French barrel (25% new) the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

The sweet-fruited soft finish of this Babich Hawke’s Bay Merlot makes it an ideal partner for ratatouille or with Italian-style meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce.

92 POINTS - James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com
4.5 STARS - Michael Cooper, www.michaelcooper.co.nz
SILVER MEDAL - International Wine Challenge China 2019

"The attractive red-plum and lightly earthy aromas here speak to the quality of Merlot in Hawke's Bay.  The palate has a dense but elegant core of fine, smooth tannins that carry bright, vibrant red berries long and even. Drink or hold."
92 POINTS - James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com

"Likely to be long-lived, the 2015 vintage, is a full-coloured, Gimblett Gravels red, estate-grown in the Irongate Vineyard.  Fragrant, with a warm, ripe, savoury bouquet, it is mouthfilling, with deep, plummy, spice, nutty flavours, showing excellent structure and complexity, and good tannin backbone."
4.5 STARS -Michael Cooper, www.michaelcooper.co.nz

TASTING NOTES

Well fruited and complex, with aromas of Black Doris plums, leather, cocoa and cedar combining to create a classic claret nose. The palate is dense and warm from entry to the spicy finish. It has spicy red and dark fruits complemented nicely by earthy savoury notes.

Fermentation took place in open vats with temperature allowed to rise to 30C. Frequent hand plunging of the cap controlled temperature and aided tannin and colour extraction. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After nine months in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

The sweet-fruited soft finish of this Babich Hawke’s Bay Merlot makes it an ideal partner for ratatouille or with Italian-style meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce.

GOLD MEDAL - China Wine & Spirits Awards 2017
4.5 STARS - Winestate Magazine Nov/Dec 2016 issue
SILVER MEDAL - Hawke's Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards 2017
SILVER MEDAL - Wine Luxe International Awards 2017
92 POINTS - Bob Campbell, www.bobcampbell.nz 2018
90 POINTS - New World Wine Awards 2018

"Finely poised, savoury red, grown in the Gimblett Gravels. Deep ruby, with concentrated, ripe flavours, showing very good complexity, and the structure to age well. (One judge scored it 5 stars)."
4.5 STARS -Winestate Magazine, Nov/Dec issue 2016

"Estate-grown in Gimblett Road, in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels, and matured for 14 months in French oak casks (25 per cent new), the youthful 2014 vintage is clearly from a top season. Deeply coloured and mouth-filling, it has strong blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, hints of dark chocolate and nuts, and excellent ripeness, concentration and complexity. Showing obvious potential, it should be at its best 2018+"
4.5 STARS -Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's 2017 Buyers Guide

"Full, very dark, deep black-red colour, a little lighter on the rim.  The nose has a deep, well-concentrated, rounded core of ripe black plums and black berried fruits along with fragrant herb notes and iron-earth elements.  Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and softly plush with ripe fruit flavours of black plums and dark-red berry fruit entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs and iron-earth.  The fruit is supports by fine-grained, supple tannin extraction and integrated acidity.  The wine flows along a smooth and refined line leading to a lingering, nuanced finish.  This is a plush, sweet-fruited Merlot with ripe black plum and berry flavours on a refined, supple palate."
-Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, April 2017

"A slightly lighter and more supple wine than the richer and more intense 2013 vintage (tasted alongside) with blueberry, raspberry and currant flavours plus a subtle oak influence.
92 POINTS 4 STARS -Bob Campbell, www.bobcampbell.nz  2018

"The medium to full-bodied 2014 Winemakers' Reserve Merlot Gimblett Road Vineyard conveys modest aromas of graham crackers, pastry dough and ripe black cherries. It's plump and glossy in the mouth, with fine-grained tannins and cedary notes that emerge over time and especially on the finish."
-Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, Feb 2018

TASTING NOTES

Well fruited and complex, with aromas of Black Doris plums, leather, cocoa and cedar combining to create a classic claret nose. The palate is dense and warm from entry to the spicy finish. It has spicy red and dark fruits complemented nicely by earthy savoury notes.

Fermentation took place in open vats with temperature allowed to rise to 30C. Frequent hand plunging of the cap controlled temperature and aided tannin and colour extraction. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After nine months in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

The sweet-fruited soft finish of this award winning Babich Hawke’s Bay Merlot makes it an ideal partner for ratatouille or with Italian-style meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce.

SILVER MEDAL - NZ International Wine Show 2014
4 STARS - Winestate magazine, Nov/Dec 2015 issue

"Very full, deep, black-red colour, near impenetrable at heart, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegant and seamlessly presented with good intensity of savoury dark red berry and plum aromas interwoven with leathery and earthy complexities suggesting secondary development. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly concentrated and well-proportioned with rich, lusciously juicy black plum and dark red berry fruits. A little earth, leather and tobacco unfolds, along with spices and lifted oak. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity providing structure and liveliness. The wine flows to a long and concentrated dry finish. This is a concentrated and finely structured, sweetly ripe Merlot with some savoury, leathery aromatics."
4 STARS -Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, Feb 2015

"Mouth-filling, supple Gimblett Gravels red with a spicy bouquet, very good depth of ripe, plummy flavour, a seasoning of nutty oak, and a smooth, lengthy finish"
4 STARS -Winestate magazine, Nov/Dec 2015 issue

TASTING NOTES

Well fruited and complex, with aromas of Black Doris plums, leather, cocoa and cedar combining to create a classic claret nose. The palate is dense and warm from entry to the spicy finish. It has spicy red and dark fruits complemented nicely by earthy savoury notes.

Fermentation took place in open vats with temperature allowed to rise to 30C. Frequent hand plunging of the cap controlled temperature and aided tannin and colour extraction. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After nine months in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

The sweet-fruited soft finish of this award winning Babich Hawke’s Bay Merlot makes it an ideal partner for ratatouille or with Italian-style meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce.

DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL - China Wines & Spirits Awards 2014

"Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with some garnet hues on rim. The bouquet is elegant with light herbal-infused redcurranty fruit, along with oak resin, spices, mint and an amalgam of eucalypt and cedar. Some secondary dried herb notes unfold with aeration. Medium-light bodied, soft flavours of red and blackcurrants meld with smoke, herbs and spices, the oaking a little resinous. The palate flows seamlessly and smoothly, with light tannin extraction in support, forming a fine granular line that carries through to a dry, textured finish with herbs and cedar, and good length. This is a soft-textured Merlot with a flavour amalgam of herbs, cedar and smoke. Match with pastas, pizza and semi-hard cheese over the next 3+ years."
4 STARS 17.0/20 POINTS -Raymond Chan, www.raymonchanwinereviews.co.nz, March 2014

"Gentle and softer plum and black fruits aromas followed by medium+ oak aromas of vanilla and toasted wood; overall moderate+ complexity. On the palate - dry and every bit a Merlot with roses and plums; black currants and black boy peach; medium tannins and medium+ acidity; balanced with medium length and complexity. I could down a glass of this with venison (rare) and celeriac puree and jus."
4 STARS -Cameron Douglas MS June 2014

"Medium-bodied, supple red, ruby hued, with moderately rich, berryish, spicy flavours and a hint of herbs. Shows considerable complexity, but also a slight lack of ripeness and stuffing." -Winestate Magazine, Nov/Dec 2014 issue "An appealing middle-weight red with red fruit, floral, spice and cedary oak notes on the nose. The palate is ripe and rounded with an easy smooth finish."
-Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, www.wineorbit.co.nz, Jan 2015

TASTING NOTES

Dark plums and sweet cedar notes. Red and black fruits with leather and spice. Tight, fine grained tannins. Focused with good length.

Fermentation took place in open vats with temperature allowed to rise to 30C. Frequent hand plunging of the cap controlled temperature and aided tannin and colour extraction. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After nine months in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

The sweet-fruited soft finish of this Babich Hawke’s Bay Merlot makes it an ideal partner for ratatouille or with Italian-style meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce.

"Bright, deep, ruby-red with purple hues, lighter on rim. The nose has light, restrained plum and fresh, dark herb aromas that open up to reveal oak lift and attractive milk chocolate notes. Medium-bodied, this has bright plum, dark cherry and redcurrant fruit flavours, along with fresh, zesty acidity which lifts the fruitiness. The tannins are fine-grained and supple, the extraction modest, resulting in smooth textures. Light flavours of herbs and plums feature on the moderately sustained finish. This light, bright and racy Merlot is fresh, supple and smooth. Match with pasta, pizza, poultry and hard cheeses over the next 3-4+ years. Fruit from the ‘Irongate’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels fermented to 12.7% alc., the wine aged 8 months in 20% new French oak barrels."
-Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, April 2012

"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2011 Winemakers’ Reserve Merlot is scented of warm plums, blackberry preserves and cedar with touches of dark chocolate and baking spices. Light to medium bodied and taut in the mouth, it’s just a little lean on the fruit though has a good backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and refreshing acid and finishes with decent length. Approachable now, it should drink to 2016+."
-Lisa Perrotti-Brown, eRobertParker.com #203, Oct 2012

"Attractive, supple Merlot in an elegant rather than blockbuster style. Fresh, vibrant red with cranberry, raspberry and plum flavours together with a seasoning of oak."
-Bob Campbell MW, www.bobswinereviews.co.nz, June 2013