Ata Rangi, meaning "dawn sky" or "new beginning" is a small New Zealand winery with a big reputation for serious Pinot Noir. Located at the southern end of the North Island, it is owned and managed by a family trio - Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison. Clive planted his first vines on a small, stony sheep paddock at the edge of the Martinborough village in 1980 as one of a handful of people who pioneered winegrowing in the area.
2013 impressed as the vintage of the decade. Warm summer temperatures, peaking at 28°C, lay the foundation, followed by cool nights through the long drawn-out autumn. This has resulted in a season where the Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah have all delivered on their true classic varietal expression; the low natural yields of these varieties allowing for harvesting at perfect ripeness before late autumn rains. The heady, perfumed aromas of star anise, red plums, with notes of woodsey cinnamon and dried herb, are exotic and beguiling. The entry is dense, then finely textured in the mid-palate, with a long mineral quality. A concentration of fruit wraps itself around the tannins, leading to an exhilarating finish. An exceptional season has delivered a compelling, age-worthy wine of wonderful tension – a fitting result for release in Ata Rangi's 35th year of work on the land.
A beautifully styled red, the bouquet shows pristine aromas of dark plum, blueberry and floral with subtly infused cigar box complexity. The palate delivers excellent concentration and focus, beautifully enhanced by silky texture and rounded mouthfeel. The wine shows superb harmony and balance, and the abundance of fine, chalky tannins provides classic frame and structure to this stylish wine. It is dangerously drinkable already but promises to evolve magnificently to show greater complexity. A blend of 55% merlot, 35% syrah and 10% cabernet sauvignon. At its best: 2017 to 2025. Rating 94 Points; Sam Kim - Wine Orbit, April 2015
Merlot (55%), Syrah (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon. Robust yet elegant red wine with dark berry fruits, violet, cedar and spice flavours. A firm backbone of fine tannins offers structure and longevity without being too much of a barrier at this early stage. The best Celebre I can recall tasting. Drink 2015-2023. Rating 95 Points; Bob Campbell - Bob's Wine Reviews, June 2015
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