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2015 Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

This is the 'entry level' wine for top NZ producer Ata Rangi. It's made to drink earlier than their top Pinot Noir, but it is no wallflower. Scents of strawberries, black currants and almost meaty savouriness adorn the nose, along with sniffs of dried herbs and roses. The palate is medium-bodied and dry, with a good mix of fruit and savoury flavours, a bit of tightness to the talcy tannins, and a long, spiced fruit finish. Lovely stuff!

Winemaker's Notes

2015 was a great and largely typical season – a gentle spring, with a warm January and a welcome coolness at the back end through February and March. Some large winds in January put pressure on the canopies, the positive being that berry size was kept smaller, intensifying the fruit.

Crimson is our selection of fruit from younger parcels of vines from our various vineyards on the Martinborough Terrace. Vine age ranges from 5-20 years. In their youth, vines tend to be more fruit expressive, gaining more complexity with age (as do we all!). The winemaking philosophy is the same as for our signature Pinot Noir; no enzymes or yeasts are added, providing a hands-off, traditional approach to expressing the site.

What we find in the 2015 year is a length and drive that belies the age of the vines. More savoury in spectrum than previous vintages, the nose exudes spice, red licorice and a medley of bramble fruit. All carry through onto the palate, with the older vine portion providing real weight and a fine line and length.

Why ‘CRIMSON’? Ata Rangi founder Clive Paton is an avid conservationist, determined to help restore New Zealand's native forests to their former glory. His work led him to an association with Project Crimson, an established Charitable Conservation Trust focused on saving two spectacular red-flowering native trees - mountain-loving rata and the closely related, coastal pohutukawa, also known and loved as New Zealand's own "Christmas tree". Ata Rangi has now sponsored Project Crimson for over a decade. Sales of Crimson Pinot Noir help to spread the word of their work and Ata Rangi also donates cash for community planting projects. Clive has received a string of awards for his efforts, which include founding and chairing the Aorangi Restoration Trust covering over 40,000 hectares of the SE corner of New Zealand. He was appointed an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2012 for his contribution to both conservation and viticulture in NZ and in 2014 was awarded the historic Gerald Loder Cup, this country's highest conservation honour.

Alc/vol: 13.5%

expert reviews about

2015 Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir

Expert Reviews

Mike Bennie (2015 Vintage) says
Crimson is the ‘entry level’ Ata Rangi pinot noir but also a wine that helps fund a charitable conservation trust that looks to preserve some native trees known as Rata in New Zealand. Important footnote when drinking this wine. Goodonya Clive Paton and Helen Masters. Hey, this is good lookin’. That pretty, sweet-and-floral suckers you. Smells like pot pourri, dark chocolate Turkish Delight and berries on briar, all at once. Supple to sip on. Sluice of cherry juice, fine web of tannins, barely there mocha kiss, finishes bright and faintly chalky. It’s super easy to drink but has enough concentration of flavour and direction to give a pinotphile some satisfaction. Nicely done.
2016 - 2021
91
Nick Stock (2010 Vintage) says
The easy-to-love Ata Rangi junior pinot is in terrific shape in 2010, with sweetly fragrant cherries and bright, deep perfume, and 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.
The Good Wine Guide 2012
93
Tyson Stelzer (2010 Vintage) says
Such are the heights to which Ata Rangi has ascended that even its second wine is as lofty as the first wine of many estates. Impressive cherry berry fruit purity, exotic spice, anise and violet themes are commendable, but it’s a confident, fine tannin profile and great persistence that elevate this release to a new level of sophistication and longevity.
Wine Taste Edition 113 2013
93
Louise Radman (2008 Vintage) says
Fruitful plum & cherry pith flavours with rosebush florals & savoury spices. soft & fleshy with a vibrant core of fruit. Approachable younger vine release from an iconic NZ pinot producer
90
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh (2008 Vintage) says
Now here's a crowd-pleaser. It's loose, buoyant and slipped with sweet, spicy oak, its dark cherry-plummed fruit flavours pure, clean and immensely attractive. It'll take a few years in the cellar, but it will also drink well from the day dot. It's an excellent insight into the high-class world of Ata Rangi.
The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10 2009
91
Nick Stock (2007 Vintage) says
Be afraid, be very afraid - the Ata Rangi crew has delivered a knock-out punch with this '07 Crimson. Super-bright fruit aromas here, really intense and subtly complex. There's aromas here, really intense and subtly complex. There's pure cherry flesh and gravelly mineral complexity, gentle savoury spice and haunting fragrance. The palate is supple and steadily balanced, elegant smooth tannins layer up in impressive formation, cherry flavour runs deep through the finish A long and convincing young wine.
Good Australian Wine Guide 2009 2008
93
Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh (2007 Vintage) says
Ata Rangi has been making pinot noir in this region since 1980, though this 'second' wine is a relatively recent addition. We like, we like. This has a slip of Central Otago (another New Zealand wine region) pinot included. OK, so you have to like a certain herbal twist to your more customary pinot noir flavours of cherries and redcurrant but, if you do, you'll enjoy this. It's fresh and vigorous and, like its big sibling, it has a slightly bitter herbal character, good minerality and some peaty, smoky notes. It has lots of sappy acid and a nice, spicy finish. This isn't for everyone, but we were charmed.
The Big Red Wine Book 2009/10 2009
91
Campbell Mattinson (2006 Vintage) says
The buzz over New Zealand pinot noir usually focuses on the Central Otago region, but personally I'm more of a Martinborough man. This is the 'second' wine of this famous pinot noir producer. 2006 RELEASE Smell this. It's intoxicating in its array of forest berries, smoke, cedarwood, tobacco and, no doubt, other yummy scents - I had to stop smelling and get down to drinking, because my mouth was watering so much. Magically, it tastes as good as it smells, its silken texture wandering deliciously across your tongue. A beauty. DRINK 2008-2014.
The Big Red Wine Book 2008
92

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