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New Zealand's best-value pinot noir, hands down. Polished, bright and fragrant red cherry fruits take center stage on the nose with little in the way of embellishment or distraction. The really pure red cherry and boysenberry pinot fruits come complete with a subtle twist of spice and are evenly ripened and nicely caught. The palate has a gently rainy tannin texture and some bright and tart cherry fruits. Nice and juicy, super bright, upbeat and fresh. Drink now.
Everything a ‘young vine’ Pinot Noir should be – fresher, lighter, more accessible, and not sharper, harsher or greener as many second labels can be. Moderately deep ruby-red with youthful purple hues. The fruit flavours of dark-red berry fruits are fresh, vibrant, ripe and bright, with nuances of fresh herbs. This has wonderful primary fruit lift and fragrance. On palate just so juicy and succulent, with plush and vibrant dark red cherry and berry fruits, subtle herbal lift, very fine extraction and refreshing acidity. The wine has linearity and seriousness at the core. But it is just delicious.
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 delivers 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.
Rich, fruity wine, with black-fleshed plum and dark cherry flavours together with spicy oak and a hint of anise. Structured yet approachable. The perfect alternative while you wait for your 2013 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir to mellow with bottle age.
A very complex Crimson showing plenty of savory character, dark toasted spices and mocha. The oak sits up for now but will assimilate into the cranberries and raspberries coupled with some herbs and bracken. The tannins are supple and frame the fleshy core of red fruit nicely. The acidity is bright and impressive, as is the depth, length and detail. One of the great-value pinot noirs of the world. Drink in 2015.
A beautifully styled pinot, the fragrant bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, floral and a hint of game characters. The palate is delightfully fruited with excellent weight, perfectly countered by polished tannins providing wonderful structure and length. A baby Ata Rangi perhaps, but it's a seriously good pinot noir in its own right. At its best: now to 2020.
Moderately deep ruby-red colour, lighter on rim with youthful purple hues. The nose is softly full with a densely concentrated core of dark red berry fruit and red florals along with a subtle complexing line of minerally reduction, dried herbs and earthy detail. With aeration, notes of raspberry liqueur and fresh herbs unfold and aromas of ripe black berry and plum fruit emerge. Medium-bodied, fruit flavours of ripe, dark red berry fruit show with excellent mouthfilling presence, forming a deep core, revealing layers of dark herbs, minerals, earthy reduction and dark red florals. The palate features very fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction and fresh, lively acid cut, with some underlying alcoholic drive. As the wine flows, the fruit sweetness grows and carries through to a concentrated but succulently fruity, long lingering finish. This is a fresh, subtly succulent Pinot Noir with complex herb and mineral nuances that grows in depth with black fruit flavours. Match with poultry, pork and Mediterranean fare over the next 5+ years.
A very complex and savory looking Crimson in 2012, this has a wealth of meat, earth, herbs, spices and even hints of truffle on the nose - impressive at this young stage. The palate is built on nice, grainy tannins that run in linear formation, good depth and dark cherry flavor. Plenty of the savory flavors here too. Good wine, great value. Drink now.
This is half Burgundy, the good terroir half, and half New World, again the best fruity parts. The nose and palate are in sync, sharing a spicy, black fruit character and a long, silky smooth texture. It should be on every restaurant list in the city. 89/100
I said it last year and I’ll say it again – it’s a beautiful label.
Rosy red fruits, spice and pepper with a fair lick of vanilla oak. It’s a bit sappy and stalky, but fresh and shapely with nice line. Comes over as slightly bitter and herbal, especially on the finish, though its ameliorated by the addition of food. Needs a little more time to settle down.
The Wine Front
This second-tier label is based on "younger" vines and is designed for early drinking - within three or four years of the harvest. Ruby hued, it is very floral, refined and supple, with fresh, intensely varietal cherry, plum, herb and spice flavours, youthful but instantly appealing.
Named for Project Crimson, aimed at the protection of the red-flowering native Pohutakawa and Rata trees. Made from 100% Martinborough fruit, clones 5, 10/5, Abel and Dijon, from vines 10-20 y.o., hand-picked and fully destemmed and given a cold soak. The wine was indigenous yeast fermented including a portion of whole berries to 13.5% alc., and aged 9 months in 20% new French oak. Dark, deep, black hued ruby-red with light purple hues on rim. This is elegantly proportioned on nose with bright, vibrant dark raspberry and cherry fruit aromas, along with notes of fresh herbs and a hint of flinty, minerally reduction and oak spice adding layers of interest. nbsp; Medium-full bodied, this is bright and juicy with up-front and mouthfilling, rich, dark berry fruit flavours which are enhanced by fresh, lively acidity. Very fine, supple tannins underline the palate, forming a subtle density and concentration. The finish is long and sustained with succulent fruit flavours, balanced by fine tannins. This is a vibrantly fruity Pinot Noir with an underlying fine structure that will offer enjoyment over the next 5-6 years. Serve with tuna, duck and pork. 18.5-/20
Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Tasted alongside its big brother (or sister) of the same vintage.
Juicy red fruit, sap, spice, rose oil and a little bit of twiggy briar and dried herb that’s typical of Crimson, though it seems a little more ripe and open than previous vintages. Ample plump fruit coupled with good flow and line make for an attractive mix of friendliness and seriousness. Fine tannin, perky acidity. Touch of char in there. Tasted alongside the 2010 Ata Rangi Pinot it tastes a little light and commercial in comparison, but has a definite family resemblance. A good release.
Young vine Pinot Noir in a bright, and strongly varietal style with red cherry, plum, bracken, floral and delicately spicy flavours. Pleasantly drying wine with a good texture. Honest Pinot Noir.
The easy-to-love Ata Rangi junior pinot is in terrific shape in 2010, with sweetly fragrant cherries and bright, deep perfume, gentle spice and plum. The palate rolls through with round, fleshy, soft tannins: juicy, elegant, rich yet precise. This is a very composed young pinot once again. 93/100
Moderately deep, dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. The bouquet has fresh, firmly packed aromas of bright dark berry and cherry fruit along with hints of savoury earth, smoke and a trace of reduction. Medium-bodied, tightly bound and edgy, vibrant fruit flavours of ripe dark berry fruits are interwoven with notes of plums, spices and savoury dark herbs. The flavours are still primary and coiled to unfold. Good acid tension and balanced extraction provides vitality to the mouthfeel with its concentrated core of flavours which carry through to a long and sustained, lively finish with violetty florals and spicy plums. This is a youthful, classical Martinborough Pinot Noir with the fruit depth and structure to develop greater richness and interest over the next 5-7 years. Match with Mediterranean-inspired pork and lamb dishes. Clones 5, 10/5, Abel and young Dijon clones, from vines 10-20 y.o., fully destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with whole berries to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 20% new French oak. 18.0+/20
This second-tier label is 'a vibrant expression of younger' vines and made for early drinking – but the majority of the vines are 10 to 20 years old. Hand-picked at Martinborough, fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in French oak casks, the 2011 vintage (4.5*) is full-coloured and youthful, savoury and supple, with generous, well-ripened cherry, plum, spice and nut flavours, showing excellent complexity. Finely textured and very harmonious, it's already delicious and offers very good value.
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