Country: New Zealand Region: Martinborough
Varietal: Merlot Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: Ata Rangi
"Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980; in doing so, he was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Ata Rangi's first vineyard covered less than five hectares on deep, free-draining alluvial gravels, the original course of a local river which flows from the hills that flank the eastern side of the valley. In 2012, Clive, who is also an avid conservationist, was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to both viticulture and conservation in New Zealand.
Ata Rangi is renowned for its Pinot Noir and is widely regarded as New Zealand's top Pinot Noir producer, according to Tim Atkin MW. They have been awarded Five Stars in the '2013 Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification' by Matthew Jukes and Tyson Stelzer, for the gold medal standard of their recent vintages. At the 2010 International Pinot Noir Conference, Ata Rangi Pinot Noir was bestowed the title of 'Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa' (which translates from Maori as 'Great Growth of New Zealand' or 'Grand Cru'), in recognition of their unique site and of the family's commitment to evolving and developing New Zealand Pinot Noir. The oldest Pinot Noir vines, which include a clone allegedly smuggled from Burgundy, are now 36 years of age.
Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines, including the very fine 'Craighall' Chardonnay, sourced from low-yielding 30 year-old Mendoza clones and barrel fermented using indigenous yeasts. The luscious Pinot Gris, from the Lismore block, is harvested relatively late to enable the grapes to develop their full flavour profile, while the hand-picked Sauvignon Blanc, partially barrel-fermented, focuses as much on texture and length of palate as it does on the enticing aromatics."
Product Features: Sustainable;Vegan;Vegetarian
Winemaker: Helen Masters
The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just northeast of Wellington. The grapes are planted on well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed to the Pacific Ocean. The grapes used for this wine come from the Ata Rangi Martinborough home block. These vineyards deliver both the quality and quantity in all varieties to make this outstanding Célèbre.
Pre-fermentation maceration lasted for four to six days. An oxidative splash racking took place during fermentation. Fermentation temperatures reached 33°C and maceration on the skins lasted for 21 days before pressing. Complete malolactic fermentation took place in 25% new French oak barrels. The wine was then aged for 17 months in barriques which were 20% new oak, before it was bottled.
The heady, perfumed aromas of star anise, red plums, with notes of woody cinnamon and dried herbs, are exotic and beguiling. The entry is dense, then finely textured in the mid-palate, with a long mineral quality. A concentration of fruit wraps itself around the tannins, leading to an exhilarating finish. An exceptional season has delivered a compelling, age-worthy wine of wonderful tension - a fitting result for release in Ata Rangi's 35th year of work on the land.
Food Suggestion: The perfect match to a fillet of beef or lamb tagine.
Closure: Stelvin ABV:13% Acidity [g/l]: 4.6