Babcock Winery and Vineyard: The Cutting Edge of Vine Evolution [Part 2]
Great wines don’t make statements, they pose questions. To end with an exclamation mark is easy; when a question mark, perhaps not more difficult, but far more interesting. - Hugh Johnson
Now that said, here is the promised part two of the afternoon I spent getting to know Babcock wines a bit better and I'd like to point out, that I'm very grateful for Bryan Babcock's time that afternoon. I also would like to thank to who ever it was that took the time to reach out to me via twitter with the invitation. It's these types of opportunities I relish, a chance to spend time with the folks behind the labels seen on the shelf of your favorite wine store. As a writer, travel blogger, wine blogger, it's moments like this which help me to get a better sense of the why they do what they do and see the passion up close and personal. I'm here to tell you, it is real, and in each wine, you can sense it, and taste it. It's the same passion I have for writing my thoughts here, to share with each of you. Sadly, tho, it's articles like this, which we receive little if any, accolades or appreciation.
“The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers.” A singles hitter doesn't scare anybody." ~ Earl WeaverWhat is true in baseball, is also true in winemaking, and while one hit wonders impress mostly no one, neither do one-dimensional wines. But you'll see nothing but pure fundamentals at Babcock, and in my opinion quite a few three run homers. It is not too often that I find something to like or appreciate about every wine in a given tasting, so I'm happy to report that in each of the wines presented that afternoon, I did indeed found something I'd be glad to purchase and take home. But also, and more importantly, these are wines that I'm happy to recommend to you, my readers. So as I said last time, I have six wines to review here, and I'll get started with the Chardonnay and finish up with Pinot Noir; like the grapes, you see in the picture above.
"Wine is the prism we look through to the past while enjoying the present." - @twomey Winemaker Erin Miller2012 Top Cream Chardonnay, Estate Grown, Sta Rita Hills: Not your typical over extracted, zealously over oaked monster from California. Instead, this wine has style, substance and is layered with finely ground minerality you can taste in each sip, and slurp. The reason they call Top Cream is that you see, if you walk the vineyard, crouch down and grab a handful is loose, sandy loamy soils which I'm told goes down about three feet, hence the name Top Cream. In the mouth, it's creamy and dreamy really, apples and pears dance together, mouth coating citrus, finely knit minerality and a long, long finish. My score for this wine is 94 points.
It's a big wine, one I'd lay down for long term cellaring to properly enjoy down the road after it has had a chance to shake off some of its youthfulness. Broken rocks, fresh pre-dunked tea bags, brown sugar, cherries, cranberries, and cola. The finish is on and on and on. All the fruit for this wine is from Bryan's famously well known Block 9, where he declared aloud before buying it over the phone, this vineyard is the mecca of the Sta Rita Hills. If you visit and happen to run into Bryan, make sure you ask to hear the story behind the acquisition of this block. My score for this wine is 93 points.
"Making wine can be best described as attempting to write poetry in a language you don't understand." ~ Some winemaker, somewhere in time!
"The reason for the lighter [soil] appearance in Radical is its rocks. Dude, Radical’s rocks are soooo rad! They look like someone, God?, painted them."~ Bryan Babcock
If you hope for a chance to secure any of the upcoming 2013, you better take the steps necessary to do so now, or you'll be left on the outside looking in. Nothing but real soul and substance found here, don't miss it. Until next folks remember, life is short, don't settle for commodity wines, sip long and prosper cheers!