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Double 99 Point Scores for the New 2015 Vintage of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir - 12/06/2017 - New Zealand

The 2015 vintage of the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir has arrived and the critics were flat out awestruck. Earning not one but two 99-point ratings, this stunning Pinot is yet another masterpiece from this top New Zealand estate. Complexity is the name of the game here, with layers upon layers of scents, flavors, and textures greeting the nose and palate. With a lineage that traces back to the most famed producers in France, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, its pedigree is unmatched. Previous vintages of this treasure has sold out in no time and we expect much the same here. Most wines rated this highly often sell in the triple figures, but amazingly we are able to offer it from a fraction of what one would expect. Hands down one of the best Pinot values in the market, this is a bottle not to miss.

We’ve been working with Ata Rangi for years, watching them evolve into the benchmark for New Zealand winemaking they have become. We struck a direct import relationship with the estate, which is good news for everyone, but especially for our clients, as we continue to be able to offer on of Pinot Noir's reference-point bottlings at a price that you won't see anywhere else. As the reviews below will attest, this truly is a one-of-kind Pinot and one that will capture the attention of both connoisseur and casual drinker alike. This is a great candidate to pick-up multiples of as it is sure to develop for another 20+ years.

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2015 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir Martinborough (Elsewhere $60+) Price: Hidden

99 points Bob Campbell: "Very seductive Pinot Noir combining a sensual, silken texture with layers of complex fruit and savoury flavours. The wine has structure but it is deeply buried within a core of sweet fruit. Dark-fleshed plum, violet, cherry, spice and very subtle fresh herbs are among the more obvious flavours in this supremely complex wine. Outstanding!" (08/2017)

99 points Raymond Chan: "Full, very dark, deep, ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with a deep, dense core of well-ripened dark-red cherry and berry fruit seamlessly melded with subtle dark-red florals, dark herbs, spices and oak elements, unfolding black-berried fruits. The aromatics are exceptionally harmonious and integrated, and the nose is quite complete. Medium-full bodied, the palate features rich and succulently sweet flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruits along with black fruits lifted by dark-red and violet florals and subtle notes of dark herbs. Suggestions of spice and oak emerge. The flavours are beautifully precise, detailed and harmoniously balanced, and the mouthfeel very supple and fine-textured with flowery tannin extraction. The acidity is integrated and provides vitality for the refined core and line. The wine flows seamlessly to a long and sustained, complete finish. This is a beautifully rich and multi layered and detailed Pinot Noir of precision and harmony, with succulently sweet fruit and refined structure, enabling accessibility, and showing completeness. It will develop fine complexities over the next 7-10 years. Serve with poultry, pork, lamb and venison dishes. 40% Abel clone, the remainder 5, Dijon clones and 10/5 from the companys oldest vines, indigenous yeast fermented with 35% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 20-26 days on skins and 11 months in35% new French oak."

98 points Sam Kim: "A symphonic offering, once again, exhibiting red/black cherry, mushroom, mixed spice and vanilla characters with nuances of black tea and floral on the nose. The palate is superbly structured and seductively expressed, offering lovely fruit purity together with sensual mouthfeel and savoury undertones. Perfectly proportioned and impeccably balanced, this is another super-star in the making. At its best: 2019 to 2030."

97 points James Suckling: "A complex and giving wine that was born of a low-yielding, dry vintage, this is testament to the character of these older vines. The nose carries a deep-set spiciness in the cinnamon and baking spice spectrum with plenty of ripe red plum, some red cherry and spiced plum pastry, too. There's a greater savory and spice emphasis this vintage. The palate has plenty of tannins, gently chewy and assertive, and it carries a core of tangy cherry pip-flavored fruit and nutty ripeness through the finish. Drink now and for some years to come."

Jancis Robinson: "40% whole-bunch pressed. Will be released in May 2017. Juicy, round, lively and fleshy. Hint of milkiness on the nose. Firm underneath. Very exciting." (02/2017)

K&L Notes: 94+ Wine Front: "Rosy, dark cherry, ripe and fleshy, a slip of vanilla oak. Medium bodied, smattering of orange peel and blood orange juice, silky tannin, gentle warmth, and a bold and sappy finish. Personality plus. Needs a couple more years in bottle before it comes into its own."

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2017

My first time trying wine from this producer. 2015 was a hotter, drier than usual vintage in Martinborough. This was evident seeing the flavor profile of this wine. A nose of bramble fruit, cranberries, and spiced plum juxtapose to a bouquet of potpourri, bay leaf, tarragon, and clove. On the palate, there is definite power, with moderate tannins and ripe fruit notes including red cherries and berries. I love the inherent juiciness, with a nice little touch of cola and clay flavors on the finish. Would drink even better with at least 5 years of aging. If opened and enjoyed now, I'd recommend decanting for at least 30 minutes. Easily one of my new favorite Pinot Noirs in store

Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

2015 was a dry year that reduced the yield and concentrated the efforts of each vine to produce only a handful of bunches per plant. The wine is graceful and poised but not timid on the nose; a serious wine to be contemplated not gulped. Black cherries and blue plum ease out of the glass partnered with soft glove leather and dusty loam notes. On the palate you find a classic old world styled pinot: balance, earthy, beautiful savory expressions, spice box hints and only wisps of light oak to fill in the corners.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

Lifted red fruits; cherries and cranberries with a pleasant super fine resin note. Very enjoyable nose, it is both bright and dark at the same time, keeping you coming back for more. It is medium light on the palate, with good acidity, fine tannins and good extract, this wine lingers! Sticky red fruits and berries, very subtle oak spice and a dash of minerality. This wine is clean, modestly rich, fresh and long with a great finish. It is a show stopper without being flashy.

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

A perennial favorite of mine, Ata Rangi is the perfect bridge between old-world Burgundy and serious Pinot Noir from the US. This wine has the chops to stand up to a decade-plus in your cellar and the delicacy to rip open this evening. Red fruits, bramble, herbes de Provence, moderate tannin and a medium body - in the grand spectrum of things, this is a wine with everything. Considering the price point and the wine's versatility, there is nothing but upside here.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 01, 2017

If you normally pull your New Zealand Pinot's from Marlborough, it's time to look to the North Island into Martinborough for their stunning expression of this varietal. This wine is deep and powerful and the Abel clone really shines through in this bottling. Still showing bold tannin, this wine has the potential to age for decades, thanks to the small, but concentrated vintage of 2015. Made from grapes grown on older vines, this wine is big dichotomy from their Crimson bottling, which shows more lightness and red fruit. This is a pretty spectacular wine and a great showing from a very highly regarded winery.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2017

I had a conversation with two of my K&L colleagues this morning about what it might take to convince American customers to start spending as much money on a bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir as they would for a wine from California or Oregon. I'm sure twin 99 point reviews will help (as is the case here), but even without the hype and the press the Ata Rangi is one of the prettiest, most haunting, and awe-inspiring Pinot Noirs we carry from anywhere in the world and you don't have to read one word of critical praise to figure that out on your own. All you need is to smell the glass and take a sip. It's all pretty self evident from that point on. Stunningly gorgeous aromas of cherries, herbs, and spices leap from the glass. Delicate and nuanced flavors dance across the palate. It's a superstar Pinot Noir on every level, textbook in its character and divine in its expression. It's always been that way, however. It's just taken us Americans a bit longer to come to terms with spending $50 on a screw cap from New Zealand. It's tragic that we've been depriving ourselves for this long!

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2017

Another stellar effort from Ata Rangi and the third in a string of exceptional vintages for the Martinborough region as a whole. This has the power and grace I have come to expect of this legendary wine. Coming from organically farmed, old vines (direct decedents from DRC's "La Tâche" vineyard in Vosne-Romanée) on the deep gravel soils of the Martinborough terrace. The wine unfolds to show complex layers of forest berries, bramble fruit, exotic spice, Chanterelle mushrooms, and fresh picked herbs. The wine is medium bodied with considerable weight and structure from the low yielding vintage. This is just hitting it's stride now but is assured 10+ years of improvement in the cellar. A stunning wine that more than stands up to it's legendary status.