By Raymond Chan, 22 April, 2016
One of New Zealand’s greatest wines, the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir has a breeding that stretches back to the first commercial vintage of 1986. Proprietors Clive Paton, Phyll Pattie and Alison Paton have worked with their winemakers Olly Masters, followed by Helen Masters to ensure the wine is world-class, and the reputation of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir remains impeccable. I feel that as the original vines have matured and newer vineyards come into balance, the wine has made incremental advances that keep it at the forefront of what is made in the country. The style remains truly classical, expressing the variety in all its beauty, while capturing the sinewy power and structure, as well as always exhibiting the regionality of the Martinborough district, and faithfully representing the unique growing conditions of each vintage, often transcending what might be the norm through the strictest fruit selection and most sensitive vinification.
The 2013 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir was one of the best ever released. The 2014 comes from a growing season that is as equally well-regarded. The 2014 Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir is plusher and more succulent, and somewhat less sinewy than the 2013 to my taste. It is sensationally delicious and another wonderful wine from Ata Rangi.
19.5/20 ratingFull, 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 licorice. The flavours are seamlessly mouth-filling 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.
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