2014 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir Martinborough

SKU #1273911 99 points Bob Campbell

 Dense, complex pinot noir in a typical Ata Rangi style, with a nice mix of fruit and savoury characters. Dark-fleshed plum, black cherry with a suggestion of floral, mixed spice and sweet herbs. Spectacular wine with plenty of power and an incredibly lengthy finish. More accessible than the previous vintage was at this stage but showing great cellaring potential. The best Ata Rangi Pinot Noir I’ve tasted.  (6/2016)

97-98 points Raymond Chan

 Full, even, black-hued ruby-red with youthful purple tints. The nose is very full with softly concentrated and layered aromas of rich, ripe, dark red berries and cherries along with nuances of dark red plums entwined with fragrant violet florals, fresh herb and spicy detail. The aromatics blossom to reveal notes of raspberry liqueur, earth and minerals. This exudes richness allied to elegance and finesse. Medium-full bodied, vibrantly succulent and lusciously sweet fruit flavours of dark red berry and cherry fruit are harmoniously melded with flavours of ripe dark plums and fragrant violet florals, dark herbs, spices and red liquorice. The flavours are seamlessly mouthfilling and supported by refined, flowery tannin extraction, and enlivened by poised acidity. This has drive, energy and fine linearity, and the wine carries to a very long and sustained, rich finish of spiced cherries and raspberry liqueur. This is a beautifully rich and succulent, elegantly balanced and refined Pinot Noir with seamless-flowing, ripe flavours of dark berry and cherry fruit with complexing floral and herbal detail. Match with duck, pork, beef and lamb dishes over the next 7-10 years. Fruit from the oldest parcels, 40% Abel clone with the remainder clones 5, Dijon and 10/5, indigenous yeast fermented with 25% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 20-26 days on skins and aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrels.

James Suckling

 We're still waiting on James' review of the 2014 vintage but he rated Ata Rangi's 2013 Pinot Noir at 98 points and listed it as N0. 5 on his Top 100 Wines for 2015! According to most comentators and the winemaker 2014 is every bit as good as 2013 if not better! In fact James hasn't rated any Ata Rangi Pinot lower the 94 points in the last decade! Watch this space!

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A winery that really needs no introduction for NZ Pinot lovers, there’s not much for me to add about the long-serving, dedicated team behind Ata Rangi - they just go from strength to strength. The Pinots have always been great, and yet even in a world where the Pinot benchmark gets higher every year, Ata Rangi is better than ever.

K&L Notes

Nick Stock (Gourmet Wine): "Ata Rangi has delivered another startlingly great edition of their flagship pinot noir with the release of the 2014 vintage. That it is a top drop should come as no surprise as this wine consistently defines greatness in the New Zealand pinot category.As ever this has an extra dimension and remains the high-water mark for all other New Zealand pinots to be measured against. How do they do it? Complete and uncompromising dedication to the cause combined with an early play to make the most of the available land in a young region, as well as the ability to attract talented and dedicated people like winemaker Helen Masters. Already entrancingly complex, it has a brambly array of cherry and summer berry fruits, blueberry too, some spicy saffron and earthy nuances. It is totally composed and still able to deliver a sense of aromatic purity amid web-like complexity. Breathtaking." 95 points Wine Front: "Ata Rangi smells like Ata Rangi first and Martinborough second, and while obviously both are true, this vintage seems to deliver the full character of the vineyard. Am I right, or am I right? Typical perfume of roses and potpourri, cherries black and red, spice and a chocolaty flavour in the mix laying on a bit more seduction, in case there wasn’t quite enough. Medium bodied, layers of silk and sap, mouth-perfume of roses and dried herbs, fine acidity and excellent length. Strong release from this great producer. Drink: 2017-2025+."

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Price: $49.99

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5