Dense, complex Pinot Noir in a typical Ata Rangi style, with a nice mix of fruit and savoury characters. Dark-fleshed plum, black cherry with a suggestion of floral, mixed spice and sweet herbs. Spectacular wine with plenty of power and an incredibly lengthy finish. More accessible than the previous vintage was at this stage but showing great cellaring potential. The best Ata Rangi pinot noir I’ve tasted. 99 points, Bob Campbell, MW (bobcampbell.nz).
'Full, even, black-hued ruby-red with youthful purple tints. The nose is very full with softly concentrated and layered aromas of rich, ripe, dark red berries and cherries along with nuances of dark red plums entwined with fragrant violet florals, fresh herb and spicy detail. The aromatics blossom to reveal notes of raspberry liqueur, earth and minerals. This exudes richness allied to elegance and finesse. Medium-full bodied, vibrantly succulent and lusciously sweet fruit flavours of dark red berry and cherry fruit are harmoniously melded with flavours of ripe dark plums and fragrant violet florals, dark herbs, spices and red licorice. The flavours are seamlessly mouthfilling and supported by refined, flowery tannin extraction, and enlivened by poised acidity. This has drive, energy and fine linearity, and the wine carries to a very long and sustained, rich finish of spiced cherries and raspberry liqueur. This is a beautifully rich and succulent, elegantly balanced and refined Pinot Noir with seamless-flowing, ripe flavours of dark berry and cherry fruit with complexing floral and herbal detail. Match with duck, pork, beef and lamb dishes over the next 7-10 years. Fruit from the oldest parcels, 40% Abel clone with the remainder clones 5, Dijon and 10/5, indigenous yeast fermented with 25% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 20-26 days on skins and aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrels. 19.5/20, Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz
Ata Rangi 2014 earned a record 99 points from me. I seriously considered awarding 100 points and feel the wine will certainly deserve a maximum score after a bit of bottle age. It defines complexity and like the other high achieving Martinborough Pinot Noirs from that vintage delivers impressive power.Bob Campbell, MW.
MartinboroughMartinborough is located on the North Island of New Zealand and is the island’s driest area, due to the rain shadow created by the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. The district is prone to spring frosts, with wind machines employed throughout the area to protect young vines from frost damage. Martinborough’s climate is cool with some maritime influence and the region enjoys one of the longest growing seasons in New Zealand. There is significant diurnal variation, excellent for preserving aromatics and acidity and the naturally breezy conditions help to curb vine vigour, resulting in low yields of grapes with great intensity and flavor concentration. Over time, the river which runs through the region, has carved out cliffs and escarpments to expose stony sub-soils, helping to create the premium vineyard site of ‘Martinborough Terrace’ built over layers of alluvial river terraces. Martinborough has significant plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling but is best known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir sought the world over.