Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ata Rangi Latest Releases

Ata Rangi would be in my list of top 10 producers in the Southern Hemisphere, and this is not just of Pinot Noir producers. Therefore I highly anticipate a tasting of their new releases. I will comment on three of their key releases here.

The 2009 Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay is Ata Rangi's premium Chardonnay. It has stone fruit flavours, but the wine is mainly about its complex texture as a result of wild yeast application and 40% going through malolactic fermentation. The acidity is hinted at, 40% new oak is more noticeable. I don't think this has quite come off, but it is an interesting wine to drink.

Score: 92/+

The 2010 Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir, the second label, is coming of age with this vintage from increasingly old vines. The wine is medium bodied, tasting predominantly of strawberry fruit, but also forest floor in a more serious and complex way than previous vintages. It has softly and slowly melting tannins on the back palate and is fantastic value.

Score: 93/++

The 2010 vintage belonged to the cooler bracket in Martinborough. When this happens, Ata Rangi put stalks and whole bunches into their Pinot Noir to give it more weight. The 2010 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir is a classic. Red and black cherry flavours hit the palate upfront. The wine is not big, but very elegant, and the 10% stalks and whole bunches give it a solid structure. The wine has soft tannins and incredible length - an exceptional wine that lasts and lasts.

Score: 96/+++

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