According to Raymond Chan: "One of New Zealand’s greatest wines, the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir has a breeding that stretches back to the first commercial vintage of 1986. Proprietors Clive Paton, Phyll Pattie and Alison Paton have worked with their winemakers Olly Masters, followed by Helen Masters to ensure the wine is world-class, and the reputation of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir remains impeccable. I feel that as the original vines have matured and newer vineyards come into balance, the wine has made incremental advances that keep it at the forefront of what is made in the country. The style remains truly classical, expressing the variety in all its beauty, while capturing the sinewy power and structure, as well as always exhibiting the regionality of the Martinborough district, and faithfully representing the unique growing conditions of each vintage, often transcending what might be the norm through the strictest fruit selection and most sensitive vinification." Ata Rangi, meaning "dawn sky" or "new beginning" is a small New Zealand winery with an enviable international reputation for PInot Noir. Located at the southern end of the North Island, it is owned and managed by a family trio - Clive Paton, wife Phyll and Clive's sister Ali. Clive planted the first vines on a small, stony sheep paddock at the edge of the Martinborough village in 1980 as one of a handful of people who pioneered winegrowing in the area, after reading a 1978 scientific report which showed Martinborough had a micro-climate similar to that of Burgundy. In 2010 Ata Rangi was honoured with the inaugural Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa or "Grand Cru of New Zealand". With a skilled team in place, including dynamic winemaker Helen Masters, Clive now has more time to focus on his commitment to conservation and to the Ata Rangi alliance with Project Crimson. Ata Rangi is ISO-14001 and SWNZ certified, with a slow move into organic viticulture taking place as of now.
What The Critics Say
97/100 Huon Hooke
"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.) 13 JUL 2019. Drink 2020 - 2034
98/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"Offering graceful power and immense complexity, the wine shows dark cherry, dark mushroom, floral, fragrant spice and toasted almond characters on the nose with nuances of charcuterie and floral. It’s elegant and sophisticated on the palate with exceptional depth and concentration, seamlessly structured by silky tannins, finishing impressively long and engaging. $75.00. www.atarangi.co.nz. Nov 2019." Drink 2021 - 2032
96/100 Bob Campbell MW
"A Kiwi classic that lives up to it s lofty reputation despite a vintage that presented challenges. Supple, accessible wine with plum, dark berry, spice, anise, dried herb, savoury and spicy oak flavours. Complex with a fine, tannic backbone balanced against restrained fruit sweetness. Perhaps not quite as much power and density as usual but still offers good potential 24 SEP 2019." Drink 2019 - 2029
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