One of the pioneers of the region, Clive Paton was one of the first to plant grapes on the Martinborough Terrace in 1980 and the winery has since gone on to become a legend of the New Zealand wine industry. Home of the Gumboot clone of Pinot Noir, a cutting from the vineyards of Domaine de la Romane Conti allegedly smuggled back into the country by an enterprising Kiwi in a pair of gumboots. In 2010 Ata Rangi was honored with the Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa award, New Zealand's equivalent of Grand Cru status and wine-maker Helen Masters consistently produces some of the countries finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
SAM KIM - WINE ORBIT
Delightfully fruited and elegantly fragrant, the bouquet shows red cherry, cranberry, floral and almond characters with nuances of dried herb and anise. The palate delivers juicy fruit intensity and rounded mouthfeel, wonderfully complemented by fine texture and polished tannins. The wine offers pristine fruit flavours with delicate spicy undertones, making it fabulous drinking. At its best: now to 2022. $36.00. www.atarangi.co.nz.
This delivers pristine red florals, lightly peppery notes and an array of beautifully pure, deep red-cherry aromas, as well as spiced pastry notes. The palate has lively, luscious and vibrant red-cherry flavors, framed in fine, crisp tannins. Exceptional value. Drink now. Screw cap.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
Project Crimson is a remarkable project and should be on your radars www.projectcrimson.org.nz – the regeneration of south island New Zealand flora is a stunning thing – Clive Paton took me ‘out bush’ on my last visit to Martinborough where I witnessed the work first hand, and it’s extraordinary and deeply invested. Here’s a pinot noir. Lovely wine this. Shows some tight tannins around a delicious slosh of quite restrained, savoury fruit character. Shows with black olive, black tea (tannins particularly), black olive and some herbal notes. Lengthy, fine-boned, needs time to unfurl, and a wine driven by acid. Structural pinot noir – not for the immediate pleasure seekers, but for those who like spending long periods of time with their wines.
CHRISTINA PICKARD - WINE ENTHUSIAST
The 2017 vintage of this wine shows none of the reduction of the previous one. Straight off the bat there are fragrances of rhubarb and red currant, florals, an array of baking spices, a forest floor earthiness and wet stone minerality. The silky palate is finely structured with the savory sinewy tannins Martinborough is known for, wound around crunchy fruit. It feels like a rainy day in autumn.
JOE CZERWINSKI - WINE ADVOCATE
Slightly herbal and tomato-scented, the 2017 Crimson Pinot Noir still offers up enough sous-bois and cherry flavors to remain intriguing. A bit of bacon-tinged oak comes through on the medium-bodied palate, joining silky tannins on the finish. For a "second wine," this offers uncommon complexity, even if it doesn't show the concentration of Ata Rangi's top bottlings.