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Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2002

Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
  • W&S91
0% ABV
  • RP93
  • JS96
  • JS98
  • D95
  • WE94
  • RP93
  • BH92
  • W&S91
  • W&S93
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

On the nose there ís a treasure trove of seductive aromas - sweet summer plums, plump black cherries, hints of coffee/chocolate and exotic spice. The texture is firm, with fine-grained yet sinewy, supple tannin supporting and balancing the characteristic Ata Rangi opulence and rich, lingering flavours. Older vintages show truffles and violets and an earthy, hedonistic, gamey complexity. Well cellared, this wine will also reward as the more savoury nuances evolve and it will undoubtedly be even more beguiling, more alluring after 4 or 5 years.

"The wine has the fruitiness of a blue-foot mushroom, a dark and savory character to balance the clean line of black cherry flavour running through it. Spice tracks that cherry fruit, a third rail to electrify the woodsy earthiness of the wine. The flavours are long, attesting to Martinborough's talents with Pinot Noir." - Wine & Spirits, Feb 2005

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
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Ata Rangi

Ata Rangi

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Ata Rangi, Martinborough, New Zealand
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Clive had tried his hand as a grave-digger and a milkman before finally getting lucky in his third career choice – a winemaker. Ata Rangi is a Maori word for “dawning sky” or “new beginning” which is apt considering that when Clive Paton bought the property in 1980 he had never run a vineyard or made wine in his life. Back then Clive traded the promise of a steady income for a bare, scruffy sheep paddock on the outskirts of Martinborough.

He was one of a handful of winemaking pioneers in Martinborough, then a forgotten rural settlement, who were attracted to the area by two key features - the localised, free-draining shingle terrace some 20 metres deep and the lowest rainfall records of anywhere on the North Island of New Zealand.

Today Martinborough is a thriving wine appellation with an international reputation, particularly for premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today Ata Rangi concentrates on hand making world class wines, namely pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and their Celebre (a cabernet blend). Yields are very low, typically 2 tonnes per acre and all grapes are hand-picked. Vines are now 20 years old, a factor in the wines ascending quality. Winemaking is very traditional using small, closed fermenters with wide top manholes which allow hand plunging. 20 hectares of vines are managed from which around 80 tonnes are crushed annually.

Martinborough

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Part of the Wairarapa region in the southern end of the country’s North Island, Martinborough is a bucolic appellation full of artisan, lifestyle wine producers. Above all else, their goals are to tend vineyards for low yields and create wines of supreme quality. Pinot noir is the main grape variety here, occupying over half of the land under vine.

Comparing topography, climate and soils, the region is nearly identical to Marlborough except that it produces top quality reds on the regular.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

EPCARIPNR_2002 Item# 83512