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.
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 36th year of work on the land.
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