Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014
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"As you swoon into the first mouthful, it takes total control and is plush and layered with an air of playful luxury." ~ James SucklingThe craftspeople at Ata Rangi describe some of the terrific attributes of this Martinborough Pinot Noir as 'supple, sinewy, long and fine'. Can we get an Amen?! This New Zealander is smooth and delicious, with a multitude of sultry layers of flavor. Decant your first bottle, making sure to keep it in a cool place to optimize the way its flavors unfold. To get everybody's taste buds warmed up, we suggest serving those first glasses with seared steak lettuce cups with chopped peanuts, fresh lime juice and thinly sliced mint leaves. We love this Ata Rangi because it has so many pairing possibilities. You can savor it's many lovely nuances with everything from lean beef, chicken, duck, and lean pork to tuna. We had Ina Garten's grilled veal chops with caramelized shallots this weekend, and only wish we had had this bottle on hand. It would have been a spell-binding combination. For a special occasion or a big gathering, we love the wow factor of a whole steamed salmon done with scallions and ginger. It will bring out the fragrant notes of the wine beautifully. And finally, roasted rack of pork with a morel mushroom pan sauce will showcase the earthy, herby side of this Martinborough red. Have another bottle or two decanted while you eat so that it's ready to accompany a dense, smooth English Berkswell cheese. It's got remarkable fruit notes and so is made to be next to this Ata Rangi. Trust us winelovers, kiwis are not the only thing they do well in New Zealand...
James Suckling: "As ever this has an extra dimension and remains the high watermark for New Zealand Pinot Noir to be measured against. How do they do it: complete and uncompromised dedication to the cause, combined with an early play to make the most of the available land in a young region, as well as the ability to attract talented and dedicated people such as winemaker Helen Masters to the cause. Already entrancingly complex, the wine has a brambly array of cherry and summer berry fruits in addition to blueberries, some spicy saffron and earthy nuances. It's totally composed and still able to deliver a sense of aromatic purity amid web-like complexity. As you swoon into the first mouthful, it takes total control and is plush and layered with an air of playful luxury. The center billows soft and deceptively airy, finishing in a run of succulent, fresh and satisfying tannins that leave you breathless. Drink now to 2025+." Dec 2016
Winery: "Only the oldest and most revered parcels of fruit are used in this, our premium Pinot Noir. The fabled Abel clone, allegedly smuggled from Burgundy in the mid-70s, makes up 40% of the blend. The result is a very complex, structured wine, beautifully perfumed in the classic Ata Rangi style. Exotic spice, dark cherry and rose petal are offset by a more savoury array of aromas and flavours on the finish. This is a very complete and graceful wine; succulent and generous on the palate yet supple, sinewy, long and fine.
Another excellent vintage to follow 2013, the season was characterised by an unusually warm, settled spring. This trend continued through flowering and on into January. February and March were thankfully cooler than usual, stretching out the season and preserving aromatics as the evenly-formed bunches steadily ripened. Interestingly, accumulated Growing Degree Days of 1170 (a measure of heat across the growing season) leading into this harvest were, in the end, almost identical to those for the fabled 2013."
Bottle: 750ml, screw cap
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir (sustainable)
14.0 Acidity g/l:
5.4 Aging: 11 months in French oak, 35% new oak
Martinborough, Wairarapa, New Zealand