Pinot Noir Wellington Martinborough New Zealand
Ata Rangi are one of the new world's great artisanal Pinot Noir specialists. Their vines are planted to some very special soils indeed, terroir and mesoclime remain king. In producing two Pinot wines, grapes are meticulously hand sorted as they arrive at the winery. About ten months later, a blind tasting, barrel by barrel, decides the first cut. The significant vine age expresses itself in a depth, breadth and complexity of character, articulating the distinctive sense of place, while contributing significantly to the consistency of quality year after year.
Pinot Noir is largely sourced from the oldest home blocks, now reaching thirty years of age. Abel, aka the Ata Rangi clone, is predominant, Pomard clone 5 and Dijon clones 114, 115 and 667 play important supporting roles. Most parcels are crushed and treated to several days maceration with a minor component of whole berries intact. In warmer vintages when grape stems and seeds have completely ripened, a component of whole bunches is included to build complexity. All parcels are separately vinified at a peak temperature of 32C for up to three weeks before pressing. Components complete their malolactic ferments in a combination of new and prior use French oak barrels, followed by a year's maturation.
Purple colour. Dark brooding plum, cherry stone aromas and exotic spice. A rich, dense palate characterised by firm but supple tannins, a delicious gamey, savoury Martinborough complexity. Although subdued on the nose as a young wine, the long, long finish is laden with weighty fruit weight and intensity, that speaks volumes of the promise of aromas and flavours yet to unfold.