||100% Pinot Noir
||Notes of ripe, dark berry fruits, star anise, crushed red rose and violets on the nose.
||The palate opens smoothly into full flavours of rose hip and dark plums with fine, layered tannins and seamless minerality that carries the wine to a long, elegant finish.
Ata Rangi, meaning ‘dawn sky, new beginning’ is owned and managed by a family trio – Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison. Clive planted the bare, stony five-hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Joined by winemaker Helen Masters, Ata Rangi is renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best and in 2010 was awarded the ‘Tipuranga Teitei O Aotearoa,’ New Zealand’s ‘Grand Cru’ equivalent. Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.
Ata Rangi's vineyards are situated in Martinborough, in the Wairarapa region to the north of Wellington. Grapes are sourced from four plots: the Ata Rangi Home Block, Walnut Ridge, Champ Ali and Dimattina, which all lie on a thin layer of well-draining alluvial soil. Only the oldest and most revered parcels of fruit are used, which are 27 years old on average. The clonal make up of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir is unique to the region with the major portion being the Abel clone. This clone is later to flower and avoids some of the worst of the spring weather.
The 2019 growing season began well with a cool and wet winter and above average rainfall, which replenished the soil moisture content. From January onwards, conditions remained dry and cool, and there was an almost instant switch in the canopy from vegetative growth to ripening of the fruit. Temperatures in the summer were above average, but cooler than 2018. Most of the fruit was picked prior to any rainfall, so it was clean with good tannin ripeness, concentration and acidity. 2019 promises to be a good year for Martinborough Pinot Noir.
40% of the fruit was whole bunch pressed, with the remainder destemmed. Fruit from the different clones and vineyards were kept separate during fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation peaked at 31°C and continued for up to 23 days until pressing. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel and spent 11 months in low-toast French oak barriques, of which 35% were new. The wine was blended and held in stainless steel tanks for a further six months before bottling.