Ata Rangi’s Pinot Noir is considered a ‘Grand Cru’ of New Zealand. The winery’s flagship wine typically shows lifted perfume, bright red fruit, savoury bramble notes underpinned by vibrant acidity and fine silky tannins. A wine of subtle power, with superb depth, complexity, structure and longevity it is a benchmark Pinot Noir for both Martinborough and New Zealand.
Vintage conditions dictate the use of stems and whole bunches in the ferment. The fruit is meticulously hand sorted at the winery with individual blocks kept separate. All barrels are tasted and typically the best plots from the best clones including the famous ‘Gumboot clone’ make the final cut for this flagship wine.
'Full, very dark, deep, ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with a deep, dense core of well-ripened dark-red cherry and berry fruit seamlessly melded with subtle dark-red florals, dark herbs, spices and oak elements, unfolding black-berried fruits. The aromatics are exceptionally harmonious and integrated, and the nose is quite complete. Medium-full bodied, the palate features rich and succulently sweet flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruits along with black fruits lifted by dark-red and violet florals and subtle notes of dark herbs. Suggestions of spice and oak emerge. The flavours are beautifully precise, detailed and harmoniously balanced, and the mouthfeel very supple and fine-textured with flowery tannin extraction. The acidity is integrated and provides vitality for the refined core and line. The wine flows seamlessly to a long and sustained, complete finish. This is a beautifully rich and multi layered and detailed Pinot Noir of precision and harmony, with succulently sweet fruit and refined structure, enabling accessibility, and showing completeness. It will develop fine complexities over the next 7-10 years. Serve with poultry, pork, lamb and venison dishes. 40% Abel clone, the remainder 5, Dijon clones and 10/5 from the company’s oldest vines, indigenous yeast fermented with 35% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 20-26 days on skins and 11 months in35% new French oak.'
19.5/20 points, Raymond Chan (NZ).
'Very seductive pinot noir combining a sensual, silken texture with layers of complex fruit and savoury flavours. The wine has structure but it is deeply buried within a core of sweet fruit. Dark-fleshed plum, violet, cherry, spice and very subtle fresh herbs are among the more obvious flavours in this supremely complex wine. Outstanding!'
99 points Bob Campbell MW
'Rosy, dark cherry, ripe and fleshy, a slip of vanilla oak. Medium bodied, smattering of orange peel and blood orange juice, silky tannin, gentle warmth, and a bold and sappy finish. Personality plus.'
94+ points, Gary Walsh, WineFront.
A symphonic offering, once again, exhibiting red/black cherry, mushroom, mixed spice and vanilla characters with nuances of black tea and floral on the nose. The palate is superbly structured and seductively expressed, offering lovely fruit purity together with sensual mouthfeel and savoury undertones. Perfectly proportioned and impeccably balanced, this is another super-star in the making. At its best: 2019 to 2030.
98 points, Sam Kim (July 2017)
A complex and giving wine that was born of a low-yielding, dry vintage, this is testament to the character of these older vines. The nose carries a deep-set spiciness in the cinnamon and baking spice spectrum with plenty of ripe red plum, some red cherry and spiced plum pastry, too. There's a greater savory and spice emphasis this vintage. The palate has plenty of tannins, gently chewy and assertive, and it carries a core of tangy cherry pip-flavored fruit and nutty ripeness through the finish. Drink now and for some years to come.
97 points, James Suckling (November 2017)
Even better than I remember from last year, the 2015 Pinot Noir includes 40% whole clusters (about the usual proportion). It's floral and stemmy, then adds huge black cherry fruit and an ample dusting of complex spices. Medium to full-bodied, it's firm and tannic but not unapproachable, with a long, lip-smacking finish.
95 points, Joe Czerwinski (March 2019)
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.