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.
Elegant, supple and very vibrant pinot noir, with seductively-layered floral, red rose, cherry, red fruits, dried herb and mixed spice flavours. Very long and linear wine that demonstrated real power delivered with great subtlety. A wonderfully pure pinot noir with a distinctive house/vineyard style and a proven ability to age graciously. Drink 2018 to 2030.
98 points, Real Review (June 2018)
"This has all the cherry and spice and perfume that defines this consistently stunning pinot noir, as well as a sense of immense freshness. The palate has deceptive lightness and tannins that are supple and caressing and that kick fresh and expansive out through the finish. Succulent and elegant. A great vintage for this wine. Drink now. Screw cap."
98 points, Nick Stock
The lovely Helen Masters, winemaker at Ata Rangi popped over to my place today, and we tasted through 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Ata Rangi and McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir. Compare and contrast, and a fascinating tasting it was. I tasted this 2016 in NZ back in September 2017, pre-release, and compared my note with the one today. Same score. Similar notes. I like it when that happens. I’ve published both notes, just for the record.
Sep17 – Spicy and perfumed with dried roses, flickers of liquorice root, sage and thyme, cherry and raspberry. Light to medium bodied, orange peel and spices, fresh with gummy and grainy tannin, freshness and vigour, and very good length. It’s charsimatic, and likely to be very age-worthy. Like this a lot. 95 points.
Jun18 – Almost a roast red capsicum smell, and cinnamon spice, red fruits, dried rose petal, lead pencil oak, assorted dried herbs. Medium-bodied, finely etched, clarity and tension, a more minerally expression of Ata Rangi here, with kitten’s tongue tannin, brightly lit acidity, and long sappy orange peel finish. 95 points
95 points, Gary Walsh (June 2018)
Ata Rangi's current release, the 2016 Pinot Noir, features hints of sage leaves and minty stemminess, beautifully balanced by plush fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, with silkier tannins than the muscular 2015, giving it a lush, welcoming texture and a smooth, seamless finish redolent of tea and roses.
94 points, Joe Czerwinski (March 2019)
Very dark colour for pinot: deep red/purple, the bouquet shy and somewhat reticent, but clean and ripe. It developed a simple chaffy aroma as it aired. The wine is medium-bodied and firm, with some extractiveness in the tannins leaving a slightly bitter grippy finish. It's a wine of weight and grunt, but not a lot of charm or pinosity - yet. It needs cellaring. (Postscript: These wines often fail to impress when young, but their track record shows they transform with age.)
94 points, Huon Hooke (December 2018)
This is profound. The compelling bouquet shows ripe cherries and plums with gorgeous nuances of warm spice, toasted almonds, earthy mushrooms and olives. The palate displays awesome concentration and depth, wonderfully enhanced by velvety mouthfeel and layers of fine texture. Tannins are polished and seamlessly woven into this spellbinding wine.
99 points, Sam Kim (June 2018)
Moderately deep ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim with purple hues. The nose is elegantly proportioned with taut and tightly bound aromas of ripe black cherry and black berried fruits entwined with savoury dark herbs, revealing complexing nuances of undergrowth and minerals, unveiling some whole bunch stalk perfumes. This has refined and serious detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich, sweet and succulently vibrant flavours of black cherries and black berried fruits melded with savoury dark herbs, complex whole bunch stalk elements, unfolding subtle notes of violet florals and minerals. The fruit possesses great vitality and energy, and is supported by plenty of fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction, with gently refreshing, lacy acidity. The palate has wonderful concentration and linearity and the wine carries with real drive to a very long and sustained finish … This is a superbly concentrated Pinot Noir possessing flavours of Abel clone influenced black fruits, savoury dark herbs and complex whole bunch notes on a refined and well-structured palate with immense vitality.
19.5 points, Raymond Chan (June 2018)
There’s lovely direct raspberry and cherry fruit here with some finesse. Has ripe raspberry, redcurrant and cherry notes with a slight sappiness and good structure. There’s definitely some grip and savoury seriousness here, as well as very pretty fruit. So fine and expressive, this has nice detail and should age beautifully, but it’s no sin to drink it young.
95 points, Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak (December 2018)
Attractive, fruity, varietal and detailed with layers of ripe red berry fruits in between oak spice, dried herb and fine stony mineral suggestions. Dry, fruity, mild savoury flavours, red berries and plums. Fine tannins and medium+ acidity, complex, varietal, engaging, fruity and long. A lovely wine, captures attention and captivates the senses. Drink now and through 2030.
94 points, Cameron Douglas MS (June 2018)
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.