Babich Wines - Merlot Hawke's Bay Winemakers' Reserve New Zealand Wine

Winemakers’ Reserve Gimblett Gravel Merlot

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

Select Vintage

2015

Grape:

Merlot and Malbec

Region:

Hawke's Bay

Vineyard:

Gimblett Road Vineyard

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

3-10 years

Production Notes:

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.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 13.5%
TA: 56.5 g/L
pH: 3.58
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

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. Mouthfilling and long.

2014

Grape:

Merlot

Region:

Hawke's Bay

Vineyard:

Gimblett Road

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production 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.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 14.0%
TA: 5.7g/l
pH: 3.6
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

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.

Technical

Alcohol:

14.00%

Clonal Selection:

6

Fermentation:

Various yeast species. Extended skin contact.

Fermentation Vessel:

Stainless steel tanks

Filtration:

0.45 micron

Fining:

Egg whites

Grape:

Merlot

Harvest Analysis:

24.4 Brix; pH 3.42; TA 4.7 g/L

Harvest Dates:

1st April

Harvest Method:

De-stemmed at harvest

Malolactic:

Yes

Maturation:

10 months in barrique. 20% new French oak.

pH:

3.6

Processing:

Crushed. Pre-ferment skin soak.

Residual Sugar:

Dry

TA:

5.7 g/l

Vineyard:

Gimblett Road

Year:

2014

Awards

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

Reviews

“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 mouthfilling, 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

2013

Region:

Hawke's Bay

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production 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.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 13.5%
TA: 6.1g/l
pH: 3.52
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

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.

2012

Region:

Hawke's Bay

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production 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.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 12.5%
TA: 5.6g/l
pH: 3.67
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

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.

Technical

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Year:

2012

Awards

DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL – China Wines & Spirits Awards 2014

Reviews

“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, Master Sommerlier, 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

2011

Region:

Hawke's Bay

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production 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.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 12.5%
TA: 5.5g/l
pH: 3.51
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

Tasting Notes:

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

Technical

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Year:

2011

Reviews

“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

2010

Region:

Hawke's Bay

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production Notes:

Block 6 of our Gimblett Rd vineyard in Hawke’s Bay was thinned (crop reduction) to increase concentration and enhance flavour. The grapes were then harvested by hand in the cool of the morning and transported to the winery in a refrigerated truck. 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.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 13.5%
TA: 5.9g/l
pH: 3.69
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

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. A well-integrated and beautifully balanced wine with fine, even, mouth coating tannins.

Technical

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Year:

2010

Awards

SILVER MEDAL -NZ International Wine Show 2011 4 STARS -Bob Campbell MW, www.bobswinereviews.com, June 2011 4 STARS, 17.5+/20 -Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, June 2011

Reviews

“Moderately weighty red with a pleasing silky texture. Elegant Merlot with red berry, leather, and spicy oak flavours. Well made wine with character and appeal.” 4 STARS -Bob Campbell, www.bobswinereviews.com, June 2011 “Fruit from ‘Block 6’ of the ‘Gimblett Road’ vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in new and seasoned French oak barrels. Very dark, deep ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has an elegantly proportioned but intense bouquet of aromatic red and black berry fruits with notes of currants and fresh herbs. A fine, elegant, medium-weighted wine, the fruit is bright and rich, with lush flavours of plums and dark berries with notes of liquorice and chocolate. Fine-grained, moderately extracted tannins and fresh acidity provide good tension and line through the palate. Serve with duck, pork and red meat dishes over the next 5-7 years.” 4 STARS 17.5+/20 -Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, June 2011 “Grown in the Gimblett Gravels, this is a full-coloured wine with good depth of plummy, spicy flavour, finely integrated oak and some nutty, savoury complexity. Worth cellaring.” -Winestate Magazine, Sep/Oct 2011 “Estate-grown in the Gimblett Gravels and matured in French oak casks, the 2010 vintage is a full-coloured wine with good density of plummy, spicy flavour, finely integrated oak and some savoury, nutty complexity. Worth cellaring.” -Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines 2012

2009

Region:

Marlborough

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production Notes:

Select blocks of our Hawke’s Bay vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels district were thinned to increase concentration and enhance flavour. The grapes were then harvested by hand in the cool of the morning and transported to the winery in a refrigerated truck. Fermentation took place in open vats at 30C with frequent hand plunging. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After two years in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol: 13.5%
TA: 5.4g/l
pH: 3.72
Residual Sugar: 0g/l

Tasting Notes:

The warm and lifted bouquet flaunts blackberry pie and fresh leather aromas; notes of blueberry, aniseed and vanilla bean add sweetness. The palate is enjoyably complex. Smooth layers of plum and forest fruits, leather and tar are incorporated with a mouth-watering savouriness and a hint of dried herbs. The tannins are soft and silken, nicely suited to the medium weight. Blueberry and liquorice linger on the finish of this elegant and harmonious wine.

2008

Region:

Marlborough

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production Notes:

Select blocks of our Hawke’s Bay vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels district were thinned to increase concentration and enhance flavour. The grapes were then harvested by hand in the cool of the morning and transported to the winery in a refrigerated truck. Fermentation took place in open vats at 30C with frequent hand plunging. After almost a month in contact with the skins the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After two years in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol:
TA:
pH:
Residual Sugar:

Tasting Notes:

Violets, liquorice and dark plummy fruit and spices are abundant on the nose of this wine. There is a generous amount of succulent fleshy fruit. Blueberries and plums come to mind. A slight savoury edge adds complexity and a note of seriousness. Granular tannins build pleasingly in the mouth. The finish is perfumed and lingering.

2007

Region:

Marlborough

Vineyard:

Gimblett Gravels

Recommended Food:

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.

Recommended Cellaring:

2-10 years

Production Notes:

Parcels of grapes were thinned to increase concentration of flavour and were harvested by hand at our Hawke’s Bay vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels district. The crushed grapes were chilled and allowed to soak for one week prior to fermentation. After a total of twenty days in contact with the skins and frequent plunging during the initial fermentation period, the wine was run off into a blend of new and old French oak. After 13 months in barrel the wine was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.

Technical Notes:

Alcohol:
TA:
pH:
Residual Sugar:

Tasting Notes:

Black Doris plums and berry fruits greet the taster coupled with a lovely level of spice from quality oak. The palate is mouthfilling with dark fruit and chocolate supported by well-integrated fruit. Sweet and savoury flavours combine harmoniously and are a perfect foil to the wines structure.

Babich Wines - Hawke's Bay Merlot Winemakers' Reserve New Zealand Wine