Ata Rangi 2022 "Crimson" Martinborough Pinot Noir

Tasting notes
Red fruits, earthy and savoury tannins. Ideal with grilled salmon.

Why we recommend this wine
We visited NZ a while back. Our trip started in Hawkes Bay because one of us was attending a wedding there. On our way down the Marlborough in the South Island we went via Martinborough because they made wine there. We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality and range of tastes available from Pinots there. Crimson is a good example of the fruitier end of the range.

The wine
Crimson started as a selection of fruit from younger parcels of vines but is now developing more depth of flavour, with a mix of vines aged from 5 to 20 years. The winemaking philosophy is the same for all their Pinots, no enzymes or yeasts are added, providing a hands-off, traditional approach which they feel more truly expresses the site. Hand-picked fruit is allowed 2 to 6 days pre-fermentation maceration to encourage indigenous yeast ferments and the ‘cap’ is hand plunged throughout the 2-3 weeks’ tank time. Complete malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel where the wine spends nine months in French oak (20% new).

The wine estate
Founded in 1980 when Clive Paton made the bold decision to sell his small herd of dairy cows in order to buy 5 hectares of stony, barren sheep paddock at the edge of the small village of Martinborough. Inspired by a scientific soil and climate report on the suitability of Martinborough for grape-growing and, probably, hopes of an easier life than dairy farming! Ata Rangi remains proudly in family ownership but they give thanks to winemaker Helen Masters for their reputation as one of the New World’s most respected Pinot Noir producers. Ata Rangi attained full organic status in 2014. 

Food and wine
This fruity but lightish wine does not want to accompany strong flavours or heavy dishes. It goes well with grilled salmon or gammon accompanied by tomatoes baked in thyme and cream. Refer also to our food and wine pairing guide, click here.

Did you know?
Ata Rangi, means “dawn sky” or “new beginning”. Their involvement with the restoration of the iconic red-flowering Rata (an indigenous tree) gave rise to calling their younger vines Pinot Noir "Crimson".