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: Ata Rangi

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Ata Rangi

www.atarangi.co.nz

Puruatanga Rd, PO Box 43, Martinborough

Cellar Door: Weekdays (1-3); Weekends (12-4)

+64 6 306 9570

View  from the cellar
Ata Rangi cellar door (photo courtesy: Ata Rangi)

Ata Rangi ( which stands for "new beginning" or "dawn sky") was a barren 5-hectare paddock when Clive Paton bought it in 1980.

Clive was one of the four winemaking pioneers in Martinborough, then a forgotten rural settlement, who were attracted to the area by three key features - the localised, free-draining shingle terrace some 20 metres deep, the lowest rainfall records of anywhere in the North Island, and the proximity to the capital city of Wellington.

The Pinot Noir is one of the flagship wines for the region and won the Pinot Noir at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 1995, 1996 and 2001.

Clive's sister, Alison and his former wine -making wife, Phyll Pattie are now co-owners. Helen Masters is the current wine-maker. Helen has worked in the Melborough, Oregon, California and Central Otago.

The extensive international exports means that the fruit is now sourced from a number of local vineyards.

The "Crimson” brand supports project Crimson, a chartable trust to protect NZ's red flowering native trees: the rata and pohu.

winemakere
Winemaker Helen Masters (centre) (photo courtesy: Ata Rangi)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2014

Purchased: Not ($90)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, 25% whole cluster inclusion, floral, dense and complex showing supple black cherry, plum and cranberry with asian spice, sage and rose petal notes, forestry with persistent dusty tannins and toasty vanilla/cinnamon oak, excellent line and length (*****)

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, vibrant and juicy entry level wine showing cranberry and dark plum with violet florals, a hint of sage and peppery spices, glossy and medium bodied with slaty undertones, fine and savoury tannins (****)

 

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($A80)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, 30% whole cluster inclusion, floral, tight opening but opens up sweetness and complexity down the palate, foresty black cherry, plum and black raspberry with sage, anise and violet notes, spicy and medium-full bodied, has a bit more flesh than the 2012, savoury whole cluster character aspects and toasty spicy oak, lovely balance and elegantly structured (*****)

Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Not ($A30)

Drink:  2020

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015,  from the gravelly Petrie vineyard about 30 km north of Martinborough, leaner than the Craighall, fresh yellow peach, lemon rind and rock melon with flint notes, creamy mid-palate with some chalky minerality and balanced almond/vanilla/cinnamon oak (****)

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2012

Purchased: Not ($A77)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, fairly cool vintage, quite perfumed, complex and supple black cherry, plum and redcurrant with dried sage and rose petal florals, spicy and medium bodied with some charcuterie complexity, vibrant acidity with fine-grained dusty tannin and toasty vanilla/cinnamon oak (*****)

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($A32)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, multi-clonal, 10-20 year old vines, plush raspberry, cranberry and plum with rose petal, sage and anise notes, succulent and medium bodied with some earthiness, the powdery tannins and drying and loose knit (****)

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($A70/$NZ65)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, from the oldest 30 year vines in a warmer vintage, 10% whole bunch, highly perfumed with excellent concentration for a medium bodied wine, supple, foresty and ripe dark plum, cranberry and black cherries with rose petal and violet florals, there’s a dusting of asian spices and garden herbs, spine of fine, dusty tannins and modestly sappy acidity, toasty vanilla/cedar/cinnamon oak (25% new) is well balanced, unlike the 2010 this is ready to drink now but has the structure to develop over the next five or so years, one of the best NZ Pinots from this vintage (*****)

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2012

Purchased: Not ($A38/$NZ35)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, from younger 10-20 year old vines, 5,10/5, Abel and Dijon clones, 100% destemmed, glossy redcurrant, cranberry and sour cherry with bright violet florals and a touch of anise, medium bodied with firm acidity and slaty minerality, toasty cedar/vanilla oak, while an entry level wine it will benefit from a couple of years in the cellar (***1/2)

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($A35/$NZ35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting:  Oct 2012, from younger 10-20 year old vines, 5,10/5, Abel and Dijon clones, glossy red fruits, sour cherry and plum with violet florals, spice and some anise nuances, medium bodied with edgy acidity and a minerally streak, finishes slightly hollow with cedary oak (***)

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Purchased: Not ($A26/$NZ24)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, in its familiar complex, ripe, textural style with 20% barrel ferment with extended lees contact, creamy with red apple, green mango, cut grass and papaya flavours with controlled fennel and red capsicum nuances, lingering lemon/lime acidity on the bone-dry slaty finish, exudes style (****1/2)

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($A75/$NZ65)

Drink: 2018+

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, from the oldest 30 year vines, the vintage conditions have added an extra notch of finesse above the good 2009 vintage, silky but concentrated dark plum and red cherry with rose petal and violet florals underpinned with asian spices and rich minerality, foresty and medium bodied palate with flashes of warm earth ands savouriness, a girdle of linear tannins hold the structure tightly together, toasty vanilla/cedar oak support, needs some time to unpack but will reward patience (*****)

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($A26/$NZ24)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, 20% barrel fermented with extended lees contact, textured and creamy with red apple, blackcurrant and papaya flavours and fresh basil and red capsicum nuances, well judged lemon/lime acidity on the wet stone finish (****1/2)

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($A50/$NZ38)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, whole bunch pressed from low yielding Mendoza clones, wild yeast ferment with 40% malo, powerful white peach, nectarine and green melon with creamy and mealy complexity and a hint of nougat, well balanced lemon and mandarin rind acidity provides the drive to match the richness of the palate, seamlessly integrated spicy hazelnut-vanilla oak support (****1/2)

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2011

Purchased: Not ($A36/$NZ28)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, unctuous and slightly oily in a rich Alsatian-style showing pear, quince and lychee with rich ginger and musk spices, just teetering on the off-dry with 8 g/l residual sugar, minerally finish with crisp citric acids and some fine phenolics, drink with spicy asian dishes (****)

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($A33/$NZ35)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, from younger 10-20 year old vines, perfumed and fleshy black cherry and raspberry with violet and rose petal florals, shows a streak of minerality and firmish but pliant tannins, dark chocolate-cedar oak, good length and balance, a well made entry level wine (****)

Ata Rangi Celebre 2008

Purchased: Not ($A33/$NZ35)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, Bordeaux influences meets the Rhone in this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, dry and leafy blackcurrant and dark plum with mint and herbal game notes, the medium bodied palate builds intensity and sweetness on the mid-palate, the back end becomes more savoury with olive aspects as the firm, chewy tannins kick in (****)

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, from the original vineyard ‘Gumboot’ and Dijon clones, attractive and brambly core of ripe red cherry, redcurrant and tamarillo opens up to peacock’s tail of spice, undergrowth, rose petals, finely grained tannins and a fresh cut of tangy orange rind acidity, some charry cedar-vanilla oak, very long with plenty of fruit depth, the warmer vintage has made this a bit fuller and open but is still a seriously good and complex wine (****1/2)

Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($A30/$NZ26)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, 30% malo, silky and elegant yellow peach, citrus and lemon curd with almond brioche lees notes, savoury palate with flinty minerality and toasty/spicy almond-vanilla, lingering grapefruit acidity, the slightly warmer vintage has made this a bit richer than normal (****)

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($29)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2010, another good entry level release showing ripe glazed red cherry and raspberry with a touch of rose petal and pepper, medium-full bodied palate with a streak of minerality and fine tannins, some chocolate-cedar oak on the finish, a rather approachable wine now (***1/2)

Ata Rangi Pinot Gris 2009

Purchased: Not ($A45/$NZ28)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, perfumed, rich Alsatian style with pear skin and slippery custard with quince and honeysuckle notes, very fine texture with orange rind acidity, long and balanced (****)

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Purchased: Not ($A30/$NZ24)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, small proportion is barrel fermented, tangy but restrained passionfruit, pear, cut grass and lemon with some grapefruit acidity, powdery texture with slight nuttiness, a well balanced food friendly style (***1/2)

Ati Rangi Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($A85/$NZ85)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, complex multi-clonal blend, silky and medium bodied black cherry and dark plum with rose petal aromatics, a dusting of warm brown spices and some underlying savoury meat nuances, some flat sarsparilla on the back half, builds intensity nicely along the palate and is supported with a web of fine tannins, long with subtle charry cedar-vanilla oak with a touch of stewed prune over-ripeness on the finish the only minor flaw in a wine that evokes comparisons with a good Vosne-Romanee Burgundy (****1/2)

Ati Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($NZ38)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, from Mendoza clones on the neighbouring Craighall vineyard, wild yeast ferment, crisp entry with white peach, melon and orange rind, the textured palate also shows fig, dough bread and honeysuckle notes with a touch of nutty lees, subtle spicy oak, good length with chalky citric acids (****)

Ati Rangi Celebre 2007

Purchased: Not ($A42/$NZ32)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, elegant blend of 40% Merlot, 30% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, leafy with aromatic blueberry and boysenberry with a touch of blackcurrant and menthol, smooth and medium bodied with lingering savoury and finely structured tannins (****)

Ati Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($A32/$32NZ)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, this is their entry level Pinot, sweet black cherry, raspberry and mulberry with clove and a streak of graphite minerality adding interest, ripe and fine tannins with plenty of toasty cedar-vanilla oak (***1/2)

Ati Rangi Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne ($A80/$NZ73)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, mix of Abel, Pomard and Dijon clones, vibrant plum and dark cherry with a hint of chocolate and cigar box, fruit is underlain by minerally and complex gamey and spicy palate with forest floor and a touch of flat sarsaparilla, framed with lightly smoky bacon vanilla oak, silky tannins (****1/2)

Ati Rangi Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($80)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, vibrant plum and cherry with a hint of chocolate and cigar box, complex gamey and spicy palate is framed with lightly smoky bacon and spicy vanilla oak, silky tannins, good length (****1/2)

Ati Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($A45)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, from 20 year old vines of Mendoza clones located on the Craighall Vineyard opposite the main Ata Rangi home block, crisp stonefruit, peach, pear and melon aromas with mid-palate nuttiness and wholemeal aspects, subtle toasty vanilla oak, crisp finish (***1/2)

Ati Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($A35)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, sweet black cherry and plum with lots of rich chocolate-oak vanilla features, soft tannins, very quaffable (***1/2)

Ati Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Purchased: Not ($A30)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, lighter barrel fermented, dry style with pronounced gooseberry and apple and a hint of snow pea, some barrel ferment texture, crisp finish with chalky phenolics (***1/2)

Ati Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2006

Purchased: Not ($A40)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, lush and spicy and off-dry pear with paw paw, pineapple and lychee features with quince and ginger notes, waxy and honeyed palate is a bit forward, dry finish (***1/2)