Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2014
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.
Craighall is from prized blocks of low-yielding Mendoza clone vines. The oldest, now over 30 years of age, are situated directly opposite the Ata Rangi home block in the heart of the deep, free-draining gravels that make up the Martinborough Terrace. Add in low annual rainfall and typically strong Wairarapa winds and the result is a high percentage of tiny berries, giving wine of serious concentration and drive with tight, bright acidity. Citrus blossom, nectarine and almond/brioche notes, best describe the bouquet at this early stage of development. The promise of longevity comes from sheer palate weight, the firm back bone and a sleek, salivating, flinty minerality. Fully barrel fermented with indigenous yeasts, this 2014 release has excellent cellaring potential - we can’t wait to see what it looks like after 2020
Taut, elegant chardonnay with grapefruit, tree fruit, white peach, cashew nut, a hint of mineral, reductive character and spicy oak. A youthful wine with restrained power and a lingering finish. Drink 2016 to 2022. Rating: 96 Points; Bob Campbell MW
This is elegant and seductive, yet there is a powerful engine driving the concentrated fruit and layers of complex flavours. The bouquet is inviting, engaging and intriguing with aromas of white stone fruit, rockmelon, nougat and brioche, with hints of vanilla and cedar. Wonderful weight and harmony. Stunning composure and finish. At its best: 2016 to 2024. Rating: 95 Points; Sam Kim | Wine Orbit
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