Babich ‘Irongate’ Chardonnay 2016
This wine has so much going for it – a long history, Mendoza clone fruit, and from a renowned single vineyard in the famed Gimblett Gravels. It’s a bright lemon-yellow with green tinges, and has an elegant but vibrant nose of roast cashew, grapefruit and citrus blossom. On the medium weighted palate, there is a deeper level of fruit, with melon and nectarine coming through with a lovely clear acidity. A rich body and a luscious texture from the barrel ferment and MLF influences. There’s a sweetness towards the finish – an apple Danish pastry or lime curd on toast. A lingering sweet finish.
Saint Clair ‘Barrique’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Hand picked fruit, left longer on the vine than usual, from selected vineyards in the lower Wairau Valley. A pale golden colour wine with upfront flinty notes and sweet aromas of vanilla, melon and white florals. A plush viscosity to the palate – with hazelnut, soft herbs and green peppercorn. Layers of tropical fruit, and a hint of lingonberry, mingle with a gentle seasoning of oak and a rounded creaminess to make this a rich, complex mouthful. It then has a lacey sweetness to the finish. An interesting wine – one to keep an eye on, and put aside in the cellar to see what develops, for a fair few years.