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.
'It was a cooler, wetter year as I recall, or certainly, it was the couple of weeks I spent in Wellington and Martinborough in January that year.
Straight off, I like this vintage. It’s kind of cool and minty, but with a rosy perfume, smoky brown spices, and something like sarsaparilla over a typical red cherry base. Tight, gently sappy, savoury and autumnal, with a distinct earthy/mineral feel, a persistent fine rasp of kitten’s tongue tannin, and a long sweet tangy orange and spice laced finish, firm stroke of tannin carrying it on. Well sophisticated. Yes.'
95 Points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront, July 2019.
Deep red/purple colour. The bouquet is at first reserved and shy with dominant dried herb, straw-bale and undergrowth aromas. Some cherry aromas began to emerge after extended airing. The wine emerged as full-bodied and strong, with abundant tannins. There is a core of sweet fruit within. It has only just begun building the fragrant bouquet that will almost certainly emerge in time. On day two: a glorious wine had blossomed, with a wonderful complexity of deep-set dark cherries, spices and dried herbs, adding up to a beguiling fragrance. The same flavours saturate the palate which is concentrated and profound, the tannins soft and ample, the persistence long. It all adds up to a prognosis of a long and rewarding life ahead. (This wine needs air, and responds well to tasting from a large-bowl glass.)
97 points, The Real Review (July 2019)
Really pristine fruit aromas here with such pure, ripe red cherries and roses, as well as gently earthy and spicy nuances. Very fresh, precisely ripe and a pinot you can sit and just breathe in for days. The palate has a velvety layer that few others manage to find; silky at the core, succulent in the center and delivering such vibrant, red-cherry flavors in a long, pristine and fresh, red-cherry finish.
98 points, jamessuckling.com (October 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.