2015 Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Weighty, concentrated Sauvignon Blanc, with a mix of gooseberry and red capsicum together with riper nectarine, tree fruit flavours plus a seasoning of nutty yeast lees character. Textural, satisfying wine in quite a complex style.
Very pale and clear colour. This has soft, gentle ethereal aromatics, showing a subtle amalgam of gooseberries, fresh herbs and white florals, fresh and balanced, quite harmonious. Dry with soft depth and density, and considerable palate presence. Lovely concentration with thirst-quenching soft textures. Subtle, but positive floral and passionfruit fruit along with stonefruits, enlivened by lacy acidity. Very good length. Approx. 50% given skin contact and 30% fermented in old oak.
Includes a small proportion of wine made from whole berries fermented in barrel to add texture. There's still a hint of the pear character - fermentation-related? - lingering here but also quite a marked peppery aroma. Stone fruit and pear rather than the typically grassy style of NZ Sauvignon. Bone dry, even a little salty. Distinctively and well made. (JH)
Winemaker's Notes: "Naturally low yields, older vines, small canopies and judicious, labour-intensive hand picking of the entire crop are all factors in producing this uniquely Martinborough style of Sauvignon Blanc. A small portion of de-stemmed, whole berries were loaded into a super-sized oak barrel where the juice fermented in contact with the berry skins, magically filling the entire barrel hall with intense, enticing aromatics. Adding further complexity and savoury notes, around 30% was fermented in neutral oak barrels. The on-skins component has highlighted beautiful citrus florals, with a hint of fresh fennel and lime zest, and has lent the wine an impressive textural quality with mouth-watering drive and a tight, flinty, satisfyingly long finish."