In a nutshell: Top quality North Island New Zealand Pinot Noir from the Martinborough region near Wellington
The lowdown: By way of a change this Kiwi Pinot Noir isn't from Otago, but the small region of Martinborough at the bottom of North Island. Ata Rangi make some of the best Pinot Noir in the Southern Hemisphere and sit at the World's top table. The wine is blind tasted after 10 months in oak barrels and only the best makes it into the finished product. It's young, elegant and poised with plum, redcurrants, fresh herbs and savoury notes on the palate. And held together with fine tannins, a beautiful structure and a long length.
When to drink: While drinking well now it has plenty of years to further improve and will develop and change over time.
The little town of Martinborough at the southern end of New Zealand's North Island, inland from the capital Wellington, is the centre of a small wine region known for it's top quality Pinot Noir. It's where Ata Rangi are based and indeed they were among the pioneers of this region which is a comfortable rival to the better known Otago region of the South Island.
The first plantings were made by owner Clive Paton back in 1980 on a stony, free draining site on the outskirts of the town. Here, he reckoned, was good terrain for making quality wine and would give him the chance to achieve his ambtiion to be become a first rate vigneron.
Clive is still at the helm and over the years been joined by his sister Alison, wife Phyll and winemaker Helen Masters. Between them they've built the enterprise into one of the southern hemisphere's most respected Pinot Noir producers.