Oeno Files

Wines Under $15: Babich Hawke’s Bay Unoaked

A lean chard that really shows off the grape.

April 10, 2009

So over the past few months, Safeway has kept its wine sales swift by introducing a reduced-price table. As a result, I go to the wine section determined to buy some $8 bottle of wine and I end up with one from the discount table that usually costs $17 but is marked down to $13. So I’m not saving money so much, but I am drinking some nice wines.

It’s at the cheapie table that I first came across Babich’s Unoaked Chardonnay—it was on sale for $11, full price is $13 or $14. I brought it home and was instantly hooked. It’s a ripe, lean, melony wine and has nothing to do with the big, buttery caramel concoctions we so often associate with New World chardonnay. (As one Walla Walla winemaker recently put it, describing people’s surprise upon tasting her own unoaked chard: “That’s the grape you’re tasting.”)

If you’re having people over for Easter dinner, you can’t miss with this budget-minded bottle.

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