Featured Reviews

Ata Rangi 2018 Rosé, ‘Raranga’ Sauvignon Blanc and ‘Lismore’ Pinot Gris

01 November,2018

Ata Rangi is one of this country’s greatest wine producers. The flagship wine, the Martinborough Pinot Noir can stand tall with Pinot Noirs world-wide, as can the whole range of wines, from Chardonnay and Riesling to Pinot Gris and Syrah. There’s the eclectic and unusual, such as the ‘Celebre’ red-blend, and deliciously approachable ‘Crimson’ Pinot Noir, the proceeds of sales of which go to the conservation-focussed ‘Project Crimson’. If one were super critical, the most ‘conservative’ of the Ata Rangi wines would have been the ‘Summer’ Rosé. and Sauvignon Blanc. The Ata Rangi team have long-realised this and winemaker Helen Masters has upped the game on these wines by building in greater textures and sophistication into them. Here, I review the latest Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc iterations from the 2018 vintage, along with the 2018 ‘Lismore’ Pinot Gris, which has over the years received subtle attention, as the Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, (the latter called ‘Raranga’) are experiencing now. www.atarangi.co.nz


Ata Rangi Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand - North Island


Bright eye-of-the partridge colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and firm with a finely concentrated core of cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and quince fruit aromas along with subtle notes of fresh herbs, unfolding red florals and mouthwatering minerals. The aromatics grow in presence in the glass. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and vibrantly luscious, sweet flavours of red cherries, pomegranate with subtle notes of quince and cranberries, with floral elements. The fruit is lively with the sweetness balanced by thirst-quenching acidity, and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line, with energy, leading to a lingering nuanced finish. This is a fresh, finely concentrated, rich-fruited, dry rosé with cherry, pomegranate and quince fruit on a thirst-quenching palate with fine textures and fresh acidity. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of 33% Cabernet Franc, 30% Pinot Noir, 16% Merlot, 13% Syrah and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, the fruit 70% from the ‘Kahu’, ‘Hau Ariki Marae’, ‘Di Mattina’ ‘ARV’ and ‘Craighall’ sites in Martinborough and 30% from the Noetzli Family vineyard, Maraekakaho, Hawke’s Bay, crushed and given several hours skin contact and fermented with indigenous yeasts in barrel and stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and dryness. 18.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $20.00

Ata Rangi ‘Raranga’ Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion and expressed with finesse, showing gooseberries and green stonefruits along with piquant fresh herbs entwined with subtle notes of nutty oak and minerally lees nuances. This is detailed and delicate. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant and rounded core with an array of flavours showing gooseberries, green stonefruits, fresh herbs, hints of capsicums and cut grass, along with mouthwatering elements. The mouthfeel is fresh and vibrant and the wine flows along a very fine-textured phenolic line with fresh acidity enlivening the fruit and providing energy. The wine carries to a very long, sweet and succulent finish. This is an elegant and intensely penetrating Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberries, green stonefruits, piquant herbs and minerals on a fine-textured palate with crisp acid vitality. Serve with seafood and herb-marinated pasta, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Fruit from ‘Walnut Ridge’, ‘Hau Ariki Marae’, ‘Southdown Estate’, ‘Moy Hall’ and ‘Brimmies’ sites, fermented in tank and 40% in barrel, 10% fermented on skins for 8 weeks, with 5% fermented as whole bunches for 4 weeks, the fermentation with high solids by indigenous yeasts to 12.5% alc. and dryness, with some MLF in barrel. 18.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $24.00

Ata Rangi ‘Lismore’ Martinborough Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with some depth and a suggestion of blush, pale on the edge. The nose is elegant in expression with a soft heart and gently concentrated aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with subtle white floral elements, stonefruit kernels, with a little nutty lees and oak. The aromatics build in intensity with aeration. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich and deep heart of white and yellow stonefruits along with florals, honeysuckle and hints of pears, unveiling subtle nutty and mineral nuances. The fruit has breadth and presence, and is underlined by some alcohol drive. The palate flows along a fine-textured phenolic line with crisp acidity lending freshness and cut. This is a rich and deep, dryish Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral and honied hints on a well-driven palate with freshness. Serve with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit from ‘Lismore’, ‘Ata Rangi’, ‘Walnut Ridge’ and ‘Stonecutter’ vineyards, vines up to 23 y.o., WBP and indigenous yeast fermented in tanks and 500 L puncheons to 13.5% alc. and 4.6 g/L RS, the wine aged several months on lees with no MLF. 18.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $28.00

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