Ata Rangi Lismore Martinborough Pinot Gris 2011


Gourmet Traveller Wine

30th June, 2012

Panel Tasting, 94 points

Scented, luscious pinot gris with bright flavours and appealing purity. In addition to the classically varietal flavours of ripe pear and anise I noted subtle, white flower and even more subtle toasted-nut flavour


This vintage displays a slightly cooler twist and lovely minerality.  On the nose there are expressive fruit characters of white nectarine, pear and lychee melded with more savoury-spice aromas of almond croissant and ginger. The palate is fine and delicate, with a pure pear-juice character, and a long lingering finish.

The Pinot Gris grapes come from the Lismore block on the Ata Rangi estate and achieve their optimum flavour profile towards the end of the growing season. As a result the team harvests this varietal fairly late to obtain a wine closer to the richer style of Pinot Gris produced in Alsace, rather than the leaner, bone-dry style of Pinot Grigio common in much of northern Italy. Harvest took place from 11th til 26th April.

The absence of frost in spring was an ideal start, with warm, mild conditions and little wind. This meant good early growth with little damage to young shoots and leaves. This weather continued into a warm, dry December and all varieties flowered very successfully. Large bunches were set, averaging at around 20% higher potential fruit weight than normal. The warm weather meant a fast start to berry development, which sowed hopes of an early harvest. Summer progressed similarly, with warm, dry weather making ideal growing conditions right up until veraison in early February. Many producers opted to green harvest and up to 30% of the yield was dropped at veraison, to ensure even ripeness across the remaining fruit. The critical period from veraison to harvest was just as good. Development of fruit flavour and avoidance of fungal disease during this stage relies on warm, dry conditions, which prevailed.

Fruit was hand-picked between 31st March and 15th April 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 barrels to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. No malo-lactic fermentation was allowed to take place. It was bottled in August 2011.

13.5% abv
Ata Rangi Lismore Martinborough Pinot Gris 2011
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  • Ata Rangi Lismore Martinborough Pinot Gris 2011