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 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.

Ata Rangi was recently given the title of “Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa” which translates from Maori as “Great Growth of New Zealand” or “Grand Cru” at the International Pinot Noir 2010 Conference.

In presenting this inaugural award, Alastair Maling, MW and Chairman of Pinot Noir 2010, said: “The Tipuranga Teitei o Aotearoa award recognises those who have taken time and shown skill and commitment in evolving and developing New Zealand Pinot Noir.

You may gather I got a little excited about this wonderful wine.

Aroma has waves of flavour spectrum taking over your nose; exotic spices, cherries, plums, savoury.
As the wine enters the mouth the flavours multiply and expand; rich and mouth filling but medium bodied only, silken tannins overlaying layers of dark red fruit and a seriously arresting long finish. The balance and integration of individual characters is already jaw dropping. Leave for 10 or more years with ease if you can, it will frighten many a great red burgundy.

The professional wine reviewers went crazy once again over this release. Here is just one of them from Sam Kim.

“This is profound. The compelling bouquet shows ripe cherries and plums with gorgeous nuances of warm spice, toasted almonds, earthy mushrooms and olives. The palate displays awesome concentration and depth, wonderfully enhanced by velvety mouthfeel and layers of fine texture. Tannins are polished and seamlessly woven into this spellbinding wine.”  99 points Sam Kim