Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).
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.
The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Martinborough, to the north of Wellington. The grapes for this wine come from Waiora, Walnut Ridge, Hau Ariki Marae and Southdowns Estate. Vineyard husbandry is important to Ata Rangi, including leaf plucking to keep the canopies open. Naturally low yields, older vines, small canopies and judicious, labour-intensive hand picking of the entire crop are all factors in producing this uniquely Martinborough style of Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards are in conversion to organic certification and are accredited as 100% sustainable.
Fruit was hand-picked and crushed with around half given a few hours of cold soak skin-contact before draining and pressing. Four separate ferment components make up the final wine. A small portion of de-stemmed whole berries were loaded into a super-sized oak barrel where the juice fermented in contact with the berry skins. Adding further complexity and savoury notes, around 30% was fermented in neutral oak barrels.
The on-skins component has highlighted beautiful citrus florals, with a hint of fresh fennel and lime zest. The wine has an impressive textural quality with mouth-watering drive and a tight, flinty, satisfyingly long finish.
** ARRIVING WITH US ON THURSDAY 23rd NOVEMBER FOR CHRISTMAS **
The previous 2016 vintage was awarded 98 points and ultra-rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below). It has been one of our biggest sellers of 2017.
The big question is: will the 2017 be as good as the 2016? We think so, but see also the link below for the word from Auntsfield themselves...
... and the first word from the New Zealand reviewers...
It's on our Christmas list because... it's probaby the best NZ Sauvi Blanc we've tasted. Nothing else comes close for power and intensity. We've sold 1,000+ this year and there no signs of that stopping, for good reason. The Tinpot Hut scored the same 98 points with Decanter and is equally superb, see our comparison here.
A true cracker of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that simply bursts with both quality and flavour.
Marlborough is famous for its two main river valleys, the Wairau and the Awatere, from where many of its great names hail. The Auntsfield plots lie directly between the two, in what is are known as the Southern Valleys. This is a sub-region where the climate is cooler and drier. With its mix of high-mineral Greywacke rock and old, low-fertility Loess clay soils, the Southern Valleys is regarded for its riper styles of wine with more structure, texture and minerality. The Auntsfield vineyard covers 65 hectares and is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
This, the Single Vineyard SB, lies some way above Auntsfield's entry level and is made only from grapes grown on the main Estate. The style is aimed towards texture, complexity and length, balancing the typical Marlborough fruit spectrum and aromatics with richness and mouth feel. Unusually for an NZSB, although the majority of the wine was cool-fermented in stainless steel (standard), this was balanced by a portion of the fruit being subject to traditional winemaking practices: handpicked, whole-bunch-pressed and fermented in seasoned oak barrels, which very materially adds texture, body and length to the wine.
On the nose, it has powerful aromas of fresh passionfruit, ripe citrus and lime, with lesser notes of dried herbs, lemongrass, jalapeno and blackcurrant. It's no exaggeration to say that we at Exel reckon this is one of the most deliciously aromatic NZSBs we have yet encountered.
On the palate, the Auntsfield is truly powerful and yet retains its elegance: it displays intense ripe fruit flavours of passionfruit and white peach, again with citrus notes of lime and mandarin. Minerality is a term all-too-often banded about in these tasting notes, yet there is a decided wet-stone twang here. Overally, the palate has intense concentration and generous weight, balanced by an underlying minerality and tight structure. All of which is to say: "glorious".
Bright lifted herbals, fennel, blackcurrant and lemon. Fruit salad entry over a base of apple, nice herbals again with mineral and citrus on the finish. Creamy mid-palate.
Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).
A classic expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but one which offers complexity of texture and a mineral drive reminiscent of river stones and sea spray. Blackcurrant, guava and passionfruit aromas emerge alongside subtle hints of lemongrass. On the palate, it is focused and vibrant while remaining elegantly balanced and distinctly salty.
Classic Marlborough pungency and varietal definition. Aromas of white currants, blackcurrants, nettles, and ripe tropical notes including passionfruit. A full palate, which finishes with fresh acidity. Currant and mineral characters linger for minutes.
This vibrant, aromatic wine comes from the Awatere Valley, south of the better-known Wairau Plains. Michiel Eradus, owner/winemaker, believes the prolonged ripening period here is key to the wines' flavour intensity. Eradus Sauvignon is herbaceous and mineral with a long, rich finish.
Colourfully expressive nose with notes of lemon, white flowers and a wee bit of minerality. Crisp yet well structured acidity balanced with a gorgeous purity of white ripe fruit and a gentle honeysuckle hint on the finish.
Awarded 86 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).
A classic Marlborough style with a mineral edge. Delivers punchy varietal characters of passion fruit, grapefruit and redcurrant. Texture is enhanced by some barrel ferment and our signature mineral finish is retained. Enjoy with oysters, seafood or vegetarian dishes.
A very elegant wine with incredibly fresh mineral and lime notes on the nose. The palate is rich with more lime and lemon zest notes. Mouth-watering acidity balances the sweetness perfectly.
The 2015 vintage was rated number 21 in Decanter's 'Most Exciting Wines of 2016' (www.decanter.com) in their January 2017 edition (see blue link below).
Delicate aromatics reminiscent of beeswax, raspberry, orange blossom and green tea, with some gentle stone-like mineral tones. Elegant, silky palate with low alcohol making the wine light on its feet, and great tension between sugar and acidity. Rich and pure flavours of orange citrus and red summer fruit compote along with crème anglaise carry through into a very long, stony, almost crunchy, mineral finish. Retained carbon dioxide from fermentation adds liveliness.
Deliciously crisp and fresh, packed full of vibrant and long lasting lime, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours. Try this with Asian fish dishes like scallops or prawns in spicy sauces such as thai green curries. Grilled squids or swordfish as well as goat cheese salads. It works well with herbs such as dill, basil and coriander.
A virtual fruit salad of mandarin segments, white fleshed peaches and crisp apples, sprinkled with lemon blossom and a dollop of honey. A lively, aromatic off-dry style that delivers a sherbet-like balance of bright, natural acidity and a subliminal touch of sweetness.
A refreshing sorbet-like medley of fresh lychee, grapefruit and honeydew melon laced with flinty minerality and finished with an infusion of mandarin and lime zest. A lively, invigorating wine with persistent grapefruit flavours and a steely blackcurrant tang. Crisp with a long, enduring finish.