Over the past 30 years of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir releases, the wine has developed a strong reputation for a particular savouriness of style which reflects our grapes, sites and climate. The 2016 year typifies this style – a complex set of aromas and flavours which ripple over each other: juniper, cranberry, manuka flower, sandalwood, a hint of gingerbread and classic sweet hay. On the palate, flavours spread from warm spice to Campari, with a savoury seam that hints at ramen broth. The entry is vibrant and compelling with a rush of tannin that sweeps the flavours right through the palate. While this release will reward from cellaring, it is also highly satisfying to drink now.
The 2016 season was very dry with overall growing degree days within a normal range. The key difference from an average year, however, was timing. February temperatures soared well above the norm, in fact it was the hottest summer month since 1998. The resulting early seed ripening allowed picking at lower brix, and a cooler back end to the season provided good hang time for complete tannin ripeness.
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.