The Gumboot Clone
The Gumboot Clone
* The GUMBOOT Clone, aka the ABEL Clone or the ATA RANGI Clone.
In 1982, soon after purchasing the Ata Rangi home block, Clive called Auckland winemaker Malcolm Abel and volunteered to work a vintage. He knew that Malcolm was also chasing premium pinot noir, and the two soon became close friends. Malcolm died unexpectedly a year later and the Abel Vineyard itself was ultimately lost to urban sprawl.
But Malcolm had already given Clive some promising pinot cuttings, the offspring of a single vine cutting allegedly taken by a traveller from Burgundy’s finest estate, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti . The illegal cutting had been intercepted and confiscated at Auckland airport, where Malcolm, coincidentally, was working as a customs officer in the mid 70’s. He immediately understood its significance, and sent it straight to the state-owned viticulture research station of the day. Malcolm waited patiently for the first cuttings to become available, and duly planted them.
To this day, the Abel Clone, or Gumboot Clone (legend has it the stolen cutting was hidden inside a Kiwi gumboot) remains at the heart of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir. We love the texture, and length of palate it delivers. Its tannins are substantial, yet are incredibly silky and fine. From our site it brings dark cherry, and a brooding, savoury feel.
The pinot noir grapevine is genetically very unstable, so there are literally hundreds of naturally occurring variants referred to as clones. Premium pinot needs the complexity that a range of these clones brings. We have over a dozen planted, with Clone 5/ Pomard also considered very valuable, giving the wine a solid mid-palate structure and wonderfully vibrant, aromatic fruit. The much feted Dijon Clones, selected by the research unit at Dijon University in the late 80’s, are less textural but have more front palate weight, and beautifully perfumed high notes.
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