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Featured Reviews

Ata Rangi ‘Craighall’ Martinborough Chardonnay 2016

07 September,2017
Without any doubt, Ata Rangi’s ‘Craighall’ Chardonnay is one of the Martinborough district’s best expressions of that variety, and the wine can stand tall among the country’s finest Chardonnay bottlings. The wine has a distinctive tautness and elegance allied to great concentration and beautiful textures, which the Ata Rangi team attribute to the Craighall vineyard site and the mature Mendoza clone vines, the oldest now over 30 years of age. Winemaker Helen Masters treats the fruit provided by vineyard manager Gerry Rotman with great respect, and her vinification is very sensitive. Here, I review the new release 2016 Craighall Chardonnay.


Ata Rangi ‘Craighall’ Martinborough Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright pale straw-yellow colour. The nose is softly full with complex layers of ripe citrus fruit and stonefruits, creamy barrel-ferment, mealy notes and sweet oak. This is beautifully aromatic, showing lovely finesse. Rich and fulsome on the palate, and quite accessible, the flavours are soft and harmoniously interwoven, but deeply rich. Stonefruits, citrus fruits, mealy notes, and creamy, nutty oak. It is all there, but there is fresh acid cut. The textures are soft allowing immediate approachability, and there is strength and underlying power. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard, the oldest vines over 30 y.o., hand-picked, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 24% new French oak barriques, undergoing partial MLF. 19.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $45.00

Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour, a little paler on the rim. The nose is softly full and beautifully harmonious in its integration with soft layers of ripe white and yellow stonefruits, complexed by mealy notes and nutty lees, melded with creamy barrel-ferment elements, and subtle flint and mineral detail. Medium-bodied, the palate is stylishly rich with layers of flavour, unfolding white and yellow stonefruits with citrus fruits, entwined with mealy complexities, along with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, and nuances of flint and minerals. The fruit extract lends a near-unctuous texture with soft concentration and depth. The wine flows seamlessly along a fine-textured line with light background acidity providing subtle energy and vitality. The wine carries to a very long and sustained finish of stonefruits, nutty oak and mineral hints. This is a beautifully harmonious and layered, complex, concentrated Chardonnay with stonefruits, mealy and creamy notes, flint detail and a fine-textured, smooth, seamless palate. Match with grilled and roasted poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5+ years. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard, the oldest vines over 30 y.o., hand-picked, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 24% new French oak barriques, undergoing partial MLF. 19.0/20 Sep 2017 RRP $38.00
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