Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 (1x 75cl)
Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
This is a very classic Pinot Gris originally influenced by the style of wines from Alsace but developed over the years into their own, uniquely Martinborough style. The vines from which this wine was produced are now 22 years old. With roots that have driven metres deep into the gravels, they consistently deliver fruit with heightened texture and flavour.
Fruit was hand-picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 14-18°C. 20% of the wine was fermented in three year old 500 litre oak puncheons to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. In both cases, the wine was left on lees for several months. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place. The wine was bottled in August 2016.
The up-front aromas evoke fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate offers a creamy entry, with concentration and texture. The finish is long, dry and imbued with the flavour of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. With just a few grams of residual sugar, Pinot Gris is a delicious stand-alone aperitif. It is also one of our favourite food and wine matching choices, especially for anything with heady spice and/or challenging flavours. The wine shows complexity and will benefit from bottle age.
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