PRICE :: $80 plus
SCORE :: 92 Points
VALUE :: If you’ve got this much to spend on New World Pinot, look elsewhere in 2008. The Felton Road reviewed previously is just as good and $20 cheaper. Easy.
MUSIC MATCH :: Strangers by Portishead. Like the Ata Rangi, this song is deceptively quiet and mysterious before an explosion of noise and energy hits you like a sensory assault.
COLOUR :: Bright Reddy-Purpley.
AROMA :: I tasted this wine double blind amongst a series Old and New World Pinots. There was no doubting where this bad boy was from. New World all the way. So much so that you could even say that the nose is a little Over The Top. Intense blueberries, dark cherries, full fat cream (possibly from oak treatment), strawberries… Smells deliciious. Intense, clean, ripe but lacks complexity.
PALATE :: Initially this wine is like me when I first wake up in the morning… “What do you want, i’ve got nothing for you, leave me alone!” But then, like me after a bite to eat and a strong coffee, the Ata Rangi starts to hit its straps. It builds and builds, a crescendo of cherries, blueberries and stewed raspberries. Delicious, but I could probably do without the stewed characters from the raspberries. The fruit is brightened and heightened by an arcing line of pure acidity. The finish has good length. And the tannins? BIG. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing but they may be too intimidating for some. Sure the tannins will help the wine age but they may prevent enjoyment of this wine in the short term.
CONCLUSION :: This is a good bottle of wine, no doubting it. But this vintage of the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir doesn’t live up to it’s pedigree or price tag.
Price :: $40 – 45
Cellar Potential :: Up to 6+ years
Score :: 96
Music Match :: Sublime, uplifting wine deserves sublime and uplifting music.. Drink this wine while listening to Camille by Georges Delerue… If you don’t know Georges, he was a brilliant French Film composer that wrote over 350 scores for film and television. Make sure your seated when drinking the wine and listening to Camille, it is a heady and truly intoxicating experience.
The Summary :: Sometimes a wine you expect to be great turns out to be great. Sometimes a wine you expect to be great turns out to be disappointing. And sometimes along comes a wine of which you expect very little but delivers in spades. This is one of those wines. Uplifting aromas of honey, white peach, mandarins and a hint of oak. Near perfect balance and integrity on the palate with white peaches, citrus, oak and honey softly dancing on the palate. But that’s not the best bit. The texture. Oh, a joy to behold. Soft and silky it caresses the mouth in all the right places, making it almost a shame to swallow this wine. Is it a little pricey at $42? Not at all, at that price it’s damn good value. Do I still hate Chardonnay like I did six months ago? Not a chance. If we all tried Chardonnay this good the Anything But Chardonnay Club would be a lonely place.
Price :: $39-45
Cellar Potential :: Great Drinking Now but will develop over 5+ years
Score :: 95+
Music Match :: Michael Hall is a great winemaker, Hall and Oates were a great act, back in the day. And this Chardonnay is classy, stylish and pricey (but still great value). Rich Girl by Hall and Oates matches this wine perfectly. Like Chardonnay, Hall and Oates aren’t as popular as they once were. But that doesn’t mean that they still can’t be great!
Summary :: This wine is all class. All of the elements that make up this wine; the fruit, the oak and the malolactic fermentation are managed perfectly in this wine. Complex aromas of peaches, figs, nectarines and a hint of smoked macadamias integrate beautifully with the rich, smooth and damned sexy palate. This wine seduces your mouth like an expert lover, teasing and delicately touching in all the right places… A hint of oak here, persistent stone fruit and pear flavours there supported by flurries of exquisite nuttiness, and an oh-so-slow and smooth finish… A completely and utterly satisfying wine.
Price :: $15-18 from Magill Estate Cellar Door
Cellaring Potential:: Great to drink now but will be even better after 3 to 5 years + in the cellar
Music Match:: Bright, zingy and a little bit fruity… Snowball by Devo does the job nicely!
The Info :: I picked this interesting wine up from Penfold’s Magill Estate Cellar Door this week. Unfortunately it is a Cellar Door exclusive but is worth a look if you ever make it to Magill Estate. The funky, retro bottle immediately catches the eye, as does the story behind the wine. The wine pays homage to Max Schubert, creator of Grange, and his trials in the 1970s to create a range of white wines to rival the Penfold’s reds. This wine is mostly riesling with possibly a touch of gewurztraminer to liven up the mix. Now I love a good homage but is the wine any good??
Colour :: Gold with a slight green tinge.
Aroma :: Limes, Lemons, Brioche, Passionfruit and Lychees… Intriguing, not overbearing.
Palate :: Crisp and crunchy acid is the first thing I noticed. Ensures the wine will develop well in the bottle and accentuates the toffee apple, lime and tropical fruit juice flavours. The finish is much smoother with lemon cheesecake lingering on the tongue… Nan would approve!
Summary:: A simple, tasty and interesting bottle of Riesling. Good quality fruit, a cool retro label and an interesting back story make for a good value white wine that’ll go down well now or over the short to medium term. If only it was more widely available.