Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2021 article: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc - 20 from 2020 (see blue link below).
Babich, Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2020 - April 2021 Decanter review
For our article on that review - and the other wines that topped it (that we offer) - click here.
From humble beginnings in 1916, Babich are a family-owned business who have worked tirelessly and passionately over the years, learning all there is to know about making the best quality wine New Zealand has to offer – and taking it to the world. This wine has come from the very best and carefully selected wine growing land in New Zealand.
Babich Black Label Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was first produced in 2005 and is exclusive to restaurants and bars. The Black Label Sauvignon Blanc has been developed to complement food. They have blended a Black Label wine from Babich estate-owned vineyards which, while displaying the pungent and crisp characteristics that set Marlborough sourced fruit apart, also shows greater depth and complexity on the palate.
Grapes from Babich's Waihopai and Upper Wairau Valley Estates were picked, crushed and pressed with minimal skin contact. The juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks at various temperatures, and with a variety of yeast species to build in some textural and flavour complexity. A small percentage underwent malolactic fermentation also. After extensive tastings by the winemakers, this blend was assembled, lightly fined and bottled.
For more details of the wine, see the link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Babich (2 pages).
Babich, Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2020 - fiche technique
Sauvignon Blanc 100%.
Richly perfumed with mango and nectarine, mineral and lime. Sweet herbals and a hint of fresh pea out of the pod. Sweet fruits, mango and golden kiwifruit, are quickly joined by a light spice element along with quince and mandarin. A complex and mouth-watering wine.
Exel tasting note: This is a stunner. Personally, I can't think of a NZSB I've tried that I have preferred to this. I must, I feel, declare that I am into the tropicals: if I want to drink more citric SB, I personally see no reason to go to NZ for it; where NZSB scores, for me, is in offering those flavours that you don't/can't find elsewhere.
This is Big Tropical - passion fruit, mango, guava, nectarine - and is rich and soft on the palate. Typically, I expect that to be offset by lower acidity and lower bite/refreshment value. The beauty of what Babich have here is that there is no marked concession of zing (it is very slight, perhaps as a result of the MLF mentioned above). There is a known trick in NZ to achieve this fine combination of tropicals-with-acidity, which is to blend grapes (or blending wines therefrom) from the sunny side of the vines/rows/vineyard with those from the shady side. Whether that's what Babich have done here, I don't know (and have been unable to find out), but it is one impressive flavour and finish - indeed - that that they created.