Ata Rangi means "dawn sky" or "new beginning”. Yes, something new to all of us.
As student for the Masters of Wine years back, we tasted this wine and cultivated a special academic interest for it. Of course, it always tastes different to other benchmarking Pinot Noirs from Otago, Marlborough and Martinborough.
The nose of this Crimson 2014 Pinot Noir is complete with fresh red fruit, yet 'complexed' by a bit dark fruit and 'forest-floor' type of nuances (not much, but just adequate to make it serious). On palate, broad, intense, with a uniquely easy-to-drink yet and seriousness. It is approachable, and can age because of the abundant fruit. It is a savoury Pinot Noir.
The grapes were hand-picked and 100% destemmed, keeping as much whole berry fruit as possible. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted between two and six days. The must was inoculated with indigenous yeasts and hand plunged during fermentation that lasted approximately two weeks. The wine was racked into barrel, of which 20% was new oak, where it remained for a further nine months after malolactic fermentation until bottling in February 2015.
The Pinot Noir grapes for Crimson are produced from 10-20 year old Martinborough vines in Lismore, Waiora and Walnut Ridge blocks. A lot of story about the PN Clone the maker is using. Soils are similar to Burgundy.
Awarded RP93, this wine is also vividly depicted by Sam Kim as follows:
Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2014 - 94 Points, 5 Stars
Sam Kim | Wine Orbit, Sept 2015
Ripe, fragrant, stylish and satisfying, this is a serious and delectable pinot. The complex bouquet shows red/black cherry, truffle, dried herb and floral characters, which lead to a finely textured palate that deliver elegant power, as well as soothing mouthfeel, all beautifully wrapped in polished tannins. This has a strong Ata Rangi hallmark and stands very proud on its own. At its best: 2016 to 2024.