- Gold - Sommelier Wine Awards 2014
Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive’s sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters...
Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand’s best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just northeast of Wellington. The grapes are planted on well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed to the Pacific Ocean. The grapes used for this wine come from the Ata Rangi Martinborough home block. These vineyards deliver both the quality and quantity in all varieties to make this outstanding Célèbre.
Bud burst started wonderfully with a warmer than average September, which continued on through the vital months of November and December when the vines were flowering. This made for a much more relaxed spring, with wind machines (frost fighting) barely used. Bunch set was very good, too good, so the crop was taken back to a level that would ensure even, complete ripeness. January gave some amazing summer days, tempered by cool nights. The warm temperatures and high sunlight hours cemented tannin ripeness in seeds and skins. March and April cooled off with some rain showers that were much needed by the dry soils. The 2011 wines look to be classics - ripe tannins, vibrant acids and remarkably balanced.
Pre-fermentation maceration lasted for four to six days. An oxidative splash racking took place during fermentation. Fermentation temperatures reached 33°C and maceration on the skins lasted for 21 days before pressing. Complete malolactic fermentation took place in 25% new French oak barrels. The wine was then aged for 17 months in barriques which were 20% new oak, before it was bottled.
Aromas and flavours run the gamut from plum, blackberry and dark chocolate to hints of liquorice, star-anise and black olive. The wine is tight, yet succulent and juicy. The Merlot and Cabernet are revealed in an earthy complexity and the long, driven finish.
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.