Ata Rangi's current release, the 2016 Pinot Noir, features hints of sage leaves and minty stemminess, beautifully balanced by plush fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, with silkier tannins than the muscular 2015, giving it a lush, welcoming texture and a smooth, seamless finish redolent of tea and roses.
James Suckling 98/100
This has all the cherry and spice and perfume that defines this consistently stunning pinot noir, as well as a sense of immense freshness. The palate has deceptive lightness and tannins that are supple and caressing and that kick fresh and expansive out through the finish. Succulent and elegant. A great vintage for this wine.
Bob Campbell 98/100
Elegant, supple and very vibrant pinot noir with seductively layered floral, red rose, cherry, red fruits, dried herb and mixed spice flavours. Very long and linear wine that demonstrated real power delivered with great subtlety. A wonderfully pure pinot noir with a distinctive house/vineyard style and a proven ability to age graciously.
Jamie Goode 99/100
There’s lovely direct raspberry and cherry fruit here with some finesse. Has ripe raspberry, redcurrant and cherry notes with a slight sappiness and good structure. There’s definitely some grip and savoury seriousness here, as well as very pretty fruit. So fine and expressive, this has nice detail and should age beautifully, but it’s no sin to drink it young.
This is profound. The compelling bouquet shows ripe cherries and plums with gorgeous nuances of warm spice, toasted almonds, earthy mushrooms and olives. The palate displays awesome concentration and depth, wonderfully enhanced by velvety mouthfeel and layers of fine texture. Tannins are polished and seamlessly woven into this spellbinding wine.
The lovely Helen Masters, winemaker at Ata Rangi popped over to my place today, and we tasted through 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Ata Rangi and McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir. Compare and contrast, and a fascinating tasting it was. I tasted this 2016 in NZ back in September 2017, pre-release, and compared my note with the one today. Same score. Similar notes. I like it when that happens. I’ve published both notes, just for the record.
Ata Rangi is Martinborough’s flagship wine and understandably so, thanks to Helen Masters, who demonstrates the ageing potential of great Pinot Noir with deft winemaking hand highlighting a bold, full-bodied structural wine with powerful Pinot Noir red fruit flavours, notes of savoury, earthy spice and high acidity in great balance, adding a long finish.
With good fruit concentration, a little smoky intrigue, lithe tannins and a handsome flourish to finish, this is Ata Rangi on-song, voice projecting to the back of the hall. Give it time in the glass; better still more time in the cellar – it is but an unlicked pup. July 2018
Cameron Douglas 94/100
Attractive, fruity, varietal and detailed with layers of ripe red berry fruits in between oak spice, dried herb and fine stony mineral suggestions. Dry, fruity, mild savoury flavours, red berries and plums. Fine tannins and medium+ acidity, complex, varietal, engaging, fruity and long. A lovely wine, captures attention and captivates the senses. Drink now and through 2030. June 2018
Raymond Chan 19,5/20
Moderately deep ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim with purple hues. The nose is elegantly proportioned with taut and tightly bound aromas of ripe black cherry and black berried fruits entwined with savoury dark herbs, revealing complexing nuances of undergrowth and minerals, unveiling some whole bunch stalk perfumes. This has refined and serious detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich, sweet and succulently vibrant flavours of black cherries and black berried fruits melded with savoury dark herbs, complex whole bunch stalk elements, unfolding subtle notes of violet florals and minerals. The fruit possesses great vitality and energy, and is supported by plenty of fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction, with gently refreshing, lacy acidity. The palate has wonderful concentration and linearity and the wine carries with real drive to a very long and sustained finish … This is a superbly concentrated Pinot Noir possessing flavours of Abel clone influenced black fruits, savoury dark herbs and complex whole bunch notes on a refined and well-structured palate with immense vitality. June 2018
Wine Enthusiast 92/100
“Like many of this renowned producer’s wines, this is a bottle to take your time with. It changes with every pour, from bright cranberry and raspberry fruit to licorice; from dried roses and violets to sandalwood and savory spice. The palate is medium bodied and silky textured with tightly wound, leathery tannins and fruit that feels like you could take a bite out of it. Through it all, Ata Rangi’s signature mineral streak. For all its appeal, however, this wine is still a baby, elegant and complex but austere. Give it another year in the bottle, and drink until 2029.”