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Clonakilla are one of our nation's most eminent vineyard wineries, a tiny production operation, established by a CSIRO scientist at Murrumbateman, very near Canberra. It turned out to be a fortuitous planting, with a climate not dissimilar to Bordeaux and northern Rhone, the Clonakilla property now occupies a rank next to the mighty Grange on the prestigious Exceptional Langtons Classification, it yields vintages of Australia's most invaluable Shiraz. At $26.99, the estate's entry level belies its stature and excellence within the pantheon of great Australian wine, an essential experience this week for all enthusiasts, a canny choice for shrewd and judicious.. Here's what our most picky pundits prefer»
Marlborough viticulture owes much to the import of emigres from war torn Europe. Many were skilled fruit growers while others were passionate winemakers. They quickly discovered the magical affinity between aromatic white varietals and the mistral valleys of Te Wai Pounamu... Match a meal with maria»
By those wonderful folks who bring us Shaw & Smith. Tolpuddle was planted to vine in 1988, on a highly precious site along Back Tea Tree Road, just outside of Hobart. The inaugural vintage claimed Tasmanian Vineyard of Year in 2006. The illustrious Messrs Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith acquired the property in 2011, with a view to elevating the excruciatingly limited release Tolpuddle to the status of a national Grand Cru. A singular experience in new world Pinot Noir, Tolpuddle unravels endless layers of pastoral complexity, powerfully structured yet elegant, immaculate and poised... From little vineyards great wines grow»
Kooyong Estate only make limited editions from tiny blocks of vine, a hectare or less, which yield deeply personal wines, highly eloquent of their terroir, aspect and clime. There are the pebbled ironstone soils of Farrago, which create an uncannily Burgundesque style of Chardonnay, redolent of grapefruits, mealy bran and wet flint. The precious half hectare at Faultline articulates the savouryness of seaweed and struck match. The sheltered lee of Haven Block encourages the grapes to bloom with chewy red jube characters. The windswept parcel at Meres infuses wonderfully perfumed rhubarb and ribena notes into a velvetine tannin structure. All are equally.. Venerable vintages from the most precious parcels»

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir CONFIRM VINTAGE

Pinot Noir Wellington Martinborough New Zealand
Ata Rangi founder Clive Paton has long been an avid tree planter and has won a number of awards for his significant contribution to the environment. Paton approached the Project Crimson team for advice and support, a charitable conservation trust established for the protection of New Zealand's iconic native red flowering Christmas trees, the pohutukawa, the northern and southern rata. Crimson is sourced primarily from vines between ten and twenty years of age, which yield grapes that express the more aromatic spectrum of Martinborough Terrace.
Available in cartons of six
Case of 6
$269.50
Project Crimson were keen to have an association with this special wine to help spread word of their work and vision. A close husbanding of the vines to the most exacting standards ripens the Pinot Noir to perfection. Grapes are all hand picked off vines clone 5, 10/5, Abel young Dijon. Bunches are completely de-stemmed keeping as many of the whole berries intact as possible. Parcels are treated to a term of maceration for up to a week before inoculation by indigenous yeast and malo cultures. The batches are hand plunged throughout a fortnight of vinification and complete malolactic in barrel. The finished wines are matured nine months in a selection of new and prior use French oak barrels.
Colour of course is crimson. Dark cherry fruit and earth complexity, crushed rose petal, light cherry, brambly notes and a hint of red licorice conspire to create an enchanting, heady fragrance. More savoury than fruity, a faint hint of clove and fresh cardamom adds intrigue to the nose. Easily the most seductive feature of this release is the wonderfully plush, velvety middle palate, the fine, textural spread of tannins and long, tight, spicy finish.
Ata Rangi
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Ata Rangi
Clive Paton planted the originally bare, stony 12-acre home paddock at the edge of the Martinborough village in 1980, one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in Martinborough

Ata Rangi means new beginning or dawn sky. The site was a barren 5-hectare paddock when Clive Paton bought it in 1980. He was one of a handful of winemaking pioneers in Martinborough, then a forgotten rural settlement, who were attracted to the area by three key features - the localised, free-draining shingle terrace some 20 metres deep, the lowest rainfall records of anywhere in the North Island, and the proximity to the capital city of Wellington, just an hour away. Clive, who'd farmed in the area, knew the land well. He chose mainly red varieties - Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah - and set out in pursuit of world class wines. Pinot Noir's potential shone from the start - the early wines widely appreciated for their texture and for their pure fruit expression of the variety.

Ata Rangi

The early days were tough with no income, trees or shelter belts (the Wairarapa is renowned for its relentless, drying nor-westers) and little experience. The first winemakers persevered, sharing knowledge and ideas, as well as equipment and winery space. Clive grew pumpkins and garlic between the rows, carting them to the markets in Wellington.

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 gave 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 seventies.

To this day, the Abel Clone, or Gumboot Clone (legend has it the nicked cutting was secreted inside a Kiwi gumboot!) remains at the heart of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir. Every Pinot enthusiast adores the texture, and length of palate it delivers. Its tannins are substantial, yet are incredibly silky and fine. From wthin the Ata Rangi site, it brings dark cherry, and a brooding, savoury feel.

Ata Rangi

Clive's faith in the area has paid off immensely. Ata Rangi Pinot Noirs have three times won the coveted Bouchard-Finlayson Trophy for Best Pinot Noir at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London. This international recognition came after a decade of gold medal and trophy successes in Australasian wine competitions. Today the wines enjoy an enviable international reputation, with listings in many of the finest restaurants of the world. As Bob Campbell MW notes "It's true - Ata Rangi has the Midas touch with all of its wines."

Ata Rangi and the family team have gradually expanded since those early days. Clive's sister Alison, who'd been working in the wine trade in London, purchased 2 hectares adjoining the original block in 1982. Particular effort goes into achieving balanced vines, delivering consistently ripe, quality bunches. Hand leaf plucking over the summer ensures open canopies. Yields are very low, typically 1 to 2 T/acre (3 T/hectare). This is due to the usually cool, very windy spring weather which affects fruit set and also to the lean, stony soils which are low in vigour and fertility. All grapes are hand-picked. Many of the vines are now 27 years old, a factor in the wines ascending quality, as is this hands-on emphasis in the vineyard. Sustainability and soil health are our goals - read more about this on the Environment page.

Around 12,000 cases are produced from the 30 hectares of vineyards supplying fruit to the winery. Almost half is exported, mainly to Australia, the EU, USA and Japan. The winery shop welcomes visitors all year around. Hours are 1pm to 3pm midweek, and Noon to 4pm weekends and holidays. Today, Martinborough is thriving. The charming, leafy wine village - with its cluster of restaurants, cafes and interesting shops centred around a park-like Square - is a popular destination for wine and food-lovers or for those simply seeking a retreat from city life.

Ata Rangi