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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.

The Petrie block, 20 minutes’ drive north-east of Martinborough, sits on deep, gravelled, uplifted river terraces. Higher elevation vineyard perspective and wind exposure contribute in making this a cooler site, expressed in the typically bright fruit and marked thread of minerality for which Petrie Chardonnay is renowned. Complex aromas of wet stone and flint meld with notes evocative of pear and almond tart. The palate is long and driven; the acidity coiled around complex fruit characters of melon, roasted fennel and grapefruit.

Always a wonderful comparison with the ‘Craighall’, the ‘Petrie’ from a higher altitude, cooler site AT East Taratahi, which lends it to the contemporary gunflint elegance. Bright, very pale straw yellow. This is very intense and penetrating with sweet stonefruits entwined with gunflint and minerals, but completed by smoke, nuts and oak. On palate very tight, fresh and crisp, but still with sweet, underlying fruit. This combines luscious and raciness with minerality. This looks even better than when I reviewed it a couple of weeks ago. Rating: 19.0-/20.0; Raymond Chan; Wine Reviews 


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