Happenings from the vineyards, wineries and roads travelled between.

Craighall Chardonnay

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2017 – 95 Points

Bob Campbell MW | The Real Review, March 2019

Aromatic wine with a mix of biscuit and grapefruit characters. Tangy, mouth-watering chardonnay with citrus, white peach, hazelnut and spicy oak flavours. A seamless, linear wine with impressive purity and power.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 – 94 Points

Jamie Goode | December 2018

Good flavours at low Brix this year. Linear and fine with nice toast and spice. Lovely bready detail. Quite savoury and has good acidity, with some nuttiness and lean pear and lemon fruit. Real precision to this wine.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 – 92 Points

Nick Stock |

An attractive, fresh and concentrated chardonnay in the peach, pear and grapefruit zone. The palate has zesty freshness with some smooth pastry and honey to close. Drink now. November 2017.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 – 19.0+/20 points

Raymond Chan | October 2016

Bright pale straw-yellow colour. The nose is softly full with complex layers of ripe citrus fruit and stonefruits, creamy barrel-ferment, mealy notes and sweet oak. This is beautifully aromatic, showing lovely finesse. Rich and fulsome on the palate, and quite accessible, the flavours are soft and harmoniously interwoven, but deeply rich. Stonefruits, citrus fruits, mealy notes, and creamy, nutty oak. It is all there, but there is fresh acid cut. The textures are soft allowing immediate approachability, and there is strength and underlying power. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard, the oldest vines over 30 y.o., hand-picked, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 24% new French oak barriques, undergoing partial MLF.
Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2015 – 93 points

The Wine Advocate | Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2015 Craighall Chardonnay offers delicate notes of honeyed white peaches, baking bread and lemon tart with hints of marzipan and orange blossoms. Light to medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly fruited and yet with great intensity and persistence, showing layers of citrus, stone fruit and yeasty flavors plus a lovely floral perfume. Yum! 31/12/16
The Wine Advocate

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2015 – 96 points

Gourmet Traveller Wine

Ata Rangi’s flagship chardonnay is a rich, creamy, mouth-filling wine with peach, cashew and bran biscuit flavours. Attractive and textural, it has an impressively lingering finish. Hard to resist now but it will age well.
Gourmet Traveller Wine

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2015 – 96 points

Cameron Douglas | MS

Soft fragrant, enticing and alluring frangrances of white fleshed peach and nectarine, creamy, soft and rounded textures on the nose, as the wine begins to open up in the glass the gentle spices of oak start to show and increase in volume, a natural harmony between these elements leads to a complex and and generous cresendo. On the palate – dry, fruity, complex, youthful, engaging, lengthy. A delicious wine with power, harmony and youth on its side. Drink now if decanted – otherwise cellar and enjoy from late 2017 through 2022.
Cameron Douglas | MS

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2015 – 19.5-/20 points

Raymond Chan | October 2016

Full straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, lighter edged. This has a finely proportioned and tightly bound nose with concentrated, vibrantly rich aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits and citrus fruit harmoniously melded with creamy and nutty barrel-ferment notes and complex, but refines flinty lees and reductive elements, and soft lemon-curd MLF nuances, enriched by toasty oak. This is complex, detailed, layered, exuding vitality. Medium-bodied and elegant in presentation, the palate is taut and tightly bound, unfolding layers of yellow stonefruits, citrus fruits, nutty and toasty oak with nuances of gunflint. The mouthfeel is creamy and seamless from the fruit richness and barrel-ferment, the palate showing refined phenolics and balanced, refreshing acidity. This has excellent linearity, carrying to a very long and sustained stonefruity finish with complexing nutty and flinty detail. This is a beautifully elegant, detailed and complex Chardonnay with richness, intensity and refinement. Serve with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 5-6+ years. Mendoza clone fruit from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard, vines over 30 y.o., hand-picked and WBP, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 25% new barriques with partial MLF.
Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2015 – 95 Points, 5 Stars

Sam Kim | Wine Orbit, August 2016

Supremely elegant and refined, this stylish chardonnay shows delicate aromas of white stone fruit, lemon peel, brioche and vanilla on the nose. The palate is concentrated and focused with silky texture and bright fruit flavours, brilliantly framed by juicy acidity. The wine is restrained and tightly structured, promising to evolve magnificently. A class act as always. At its best: 2018 to 2025.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2014 – 96 Points, 5 Stars

Bob Campbell | Bob’s Wine Reviews, Aug 2016

Taut, elegant chardonnay with grapefruit, tree fruit, white peach, cashew nut, a hint of mineral, reductive character and spicy oak. A youthful wine with restrained power and a lingering finish. Drink 2016 to 2022

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2014 – 95 Points, 5 Stars

Sam Kim | Wine Orbit, Sept 2015

This is elegant and seductive, yet there is a powerful engine driving the concentrated fruit and layers of complex flavours. The bouquet is inviting, engaging and intriguing with aromas of white stone fruit, rockmelon, nougat and brioche, with hints of vanilla and cedar. Wonderful weight and harmony. Stunning composure and finish. At its best: 2016 to 2024.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2013 – 95 Points, 5 Stars

Sam Kim | WineOrbit, August 2014

At four-years-old, this is still youthful and poised. The beautifully lifted bouquet shows lemon/lime, nectarine, flint and a hint of toasty notes. It’s mouth-wateringly delicious on the palate displaying outstanding concentration, backed by whispering sweetness and racy acidity. At its best: now to 2022.

Ata Rangi Martinborough Craighall Chardonnay 2013 – 97/100

Bob Campbell | Air NZ Magazine, Nov 2014

Classy Chardonnay with roasted chestnut, brioche, mineral, white peach and nectarine flavours that are beautifully integrated. Elegant, powerful and deliciously textural Chardonnay that makes it hard to resist a second glass … and a third.

Ata Rangi Martinborough Craighall Chardonnay 2013 – 19/20

Raymond Chan | August 2014

Mendoza clone fruit from 30 y.o. vines from the company’s ‘Craighall’ vineyard, hand-picked, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented with full solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new French oak barriques with 40% MLF and some batonnage. Full, bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, lighter on rim. The nose is elegantly presented with a soft, rich amalgam of ripe yellow stonefruits and savoury citrus fruits harmoniously entwined with layers of creamy, nutty barrel-ferment elements and lemon-curd notes from MLF. The aromatics are delicate and detailed. Medium to medium-full bodied, softly packed and dense flavours of rich, ripe yellow stonefruits are smoothly integrated with nutty, mealy barrel complexities and nutty oak spicing. The mouthfeel is creamy and luscious in texture, with ripe acidity lending vibrancy and energy. The palate features a refined, textural line that carries the wine to a very long and sustained, complex detailed finish featuring citrus and mealy nuances. This is a stylish, rich and creamy Chardonnay with a complex array of flavours and fine textures. Serve with poultry, pork and veal over the next 5-6 years.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2012

Jo Burzynska | Viva Magazine (NZ Herald) 23 April 2014

Exceptional chardonnay from Ata Rangi’s 30-year-old vines, which possesses elegant white peach fruit supported by a rich savoury mealy and brioche-like undercurrent and fine mineral and grapefruit acid.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 97 points

James Suckling, former editor of Wine Spectator and now wine journo, rated 2011 Craighall the TOP NZ Chardonnay on his recent NZ tour.
He writes “Owner Clive Paton of Ata Rangi is best known for his Pinot Noirs, but his Chardonnays are equally impressive. This is made from 1.5 hectares planted around the town of Martinborough. What a wine! It shows apple pie, mineral, light cream, and mango. Full-bodied, yet agile and exciting with a reserved character at the end. It changes all the time in the mouth and nose. 700 cases made.”
Phyll says “Our winemaker Helen Masters is the real guru behind this 2011 – though Clive gets huge credit for planting the vines nearly 30 years ago in a region which at that time was devoid of both grapes and wine.. “

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 92 Points

Nick Stock | The Age | Sydney Morning Herald Good Wine Guide 2013

Sourced from old Mendoza clone vines, this flagship Chardonnay from Ata Rangi shows plenty of savoury complexity and layered fruits on the nose and palate. There’s peach nougat and a nutty thread here, some sweet melon fruit and a lithe, juicy and pleasantly grippy, tangy finish.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 95 points

Huon Hooke |, 21 May 2013

Very light colour; youthful and fresh. Savoury, quite complex but understated and nascent aroma. Not overt or oaky, but superbly harmonised and with no single feature dominating. Taut, dry, savoury and elegant in the mouth, very young and still emerging. A much more delicate, restrained wine than the Petrie. And destined to repay cellaring. Very fine wine. Drink 2013-2021.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 95 points

Gourmet Traveller Wine Sep-Oct 2013, Bob Campbell MW

Richer and more concentrated than Petrie, its less expensive sister label. The Mendoza clone with its ‘hen and chicken’ berries contribuites to the wine’s intensity, although relatively low-yielding vines play a part. Barrel fermented in Burgundy barriques and aged for nine months with 25% new barrels. Serious and quite complex with layers of white peach, nectarine and grapefruit interwoven with more savoury toasted nut, sizzled butter, bread crust and brioche characters. Powerful but supremely elegant wine.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 92+ points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown |, April 2013

The 2011 Craighall Chardonnay is made from Mendoza clone fruit harvested from 29-year-old vines and aged in about 25% new oak (300-liter barrels) with 40% of the blend undergoing malo-lactic fermentation. It is more closed than the Petrie and has a bit more tropical fruit character accented with a nice toasty and nutty character, scents of apricots, almonds and a touch of ginger. The medium to full-bodied palate has a lovely satin-like texture that is rich and generously endowed with flavor layers before finishing long. It is approachable now and will drink to 2018+.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 5 Stars, 19/20

Raymond Chan, Nov 2012

starsstarsstarsstarsstarsMendoza clone Chardonnay from vines planted in 1983 in the ‘Craighall’ vineyard, hand-picked, WBP, and fully barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9 months on lees in 25% new French oak barriques. Bright, even straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale edged. The bouquet is reserved and shy, but exudes presence, with brooding and intensely concentrated aromas of citrus fruits, a complex mealy, nutty, fruit and oak amalgam. Nuts and toast elements add detail and interest. Full-bodied, subtly unfolding layers of ripe citrus fruits, nuts, toast and mealy, creamy flavours emerge from a densely packed core. The palate has power and depth and clear potential to reveal much more. Creamy and rich textures from the barrel-ferment are cut by lacy acidity, and the flavours build to blossom on a full, long, ethereal finish with a complex interaction of mealy fruit, nuts and flint. This is a youthfully reserved Chardonnay with great presence and complex flavours that will develop over the next 5-7 years. Akin to a Chassagne-Montrachet. Serve with roasted and grilled seafood, poultry and pork. 19.0-/20.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2011 – 90 points

Jeannie Cho Lee MW,

A focused, precise Chardonnay with right balance between peaches and apricots with minerals and fresh herbs. A lovely Chardonnay that shows potential to age well. Enjoy in 4+ years. 40% went through malo. 25% new oak using 300L barrels for 12 months.
Tasted : January 2013, Wellington, New Zealand

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010 – 97 points

Gourmet Traveller Wine Jun/Jul 2012

Craighall rates as one of New Zealand’s best chardonnays. An equal measure of powerful tree-fruit and white-flower flavours with nut, sizzled butter, bran biscuit and spice characters. Cellar up to 6 years.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010 – 5 Stars

Jane Skilton MW, Sunday Star Times, 19 Feb 2012

Although best known as one of New Zealand’s finest pinot noir producers, Ata Rangi plays a mean hand of Chardonnay too. So delicious right now but full of promise; keep for two to three years to enjoy at its best.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010 – 95 points

Bob Campbell MW, Feb 2012

It’s a shame in a way that Ata Rangi is such a successful Pinot Noir producer because it sometimes obscures the fact that they consistently make one of the country’s best Chardonnays. I love the slightly more fruit-driven Petrie Chardonnay but for sheer complexity, elegance and power it’s hard not to put Craighall in the top slot pretty well every year. Impressively layers wine with an equal measure of powerful tree fruit and white flower flavours with nut, sizzled butter, bran biscuit and spice characters. Powerful wine that gets even better with bottle age.95/100
This review also appeared in theJune edition of Kia Ora.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010 – 94 points

Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier, Feb 2012

Nose: Nutty (cashew) and fresh with stone and tree fruit suggestions; a definitive and youthful note of positive sulphides adding a Burgundian note. Medium+ complexity, but specific and youthful.
Palate: Reflective of what the nose suggest with medium+ acidity, wild fermentation flavours combine to give a delicious textural wine that maintains its Chardonnay signature as well as an Ata Rangi signature. Long and flavourful finish.94/100
Cameron Douglas

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010 – 5 Stars

Raymond Chan, Jan 2012

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, the nose is tightly bound, but shows intense aromas of yellow stonefruits, mealy, nutty, nougat and hints of toast and bacon-like oak that develops in volume in the glass. Dry and initially a little shy, the palate has concentrated ripe stonefruit flavours with mealy, nutty layers and oak toast harmoniously interwoven. The textures are smooth, seamless and fine, and with bright acidity, the wine has energy and drive. The finish is very long, with some alcohol warmth and nutty oak showing. Mendoza clone fruit from vines nearly 30 y.o. from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard on the Martinborough Terrace, hand-picked and WBP, fully barrel-fermented by indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., and aged in 25% new French oak barriques, with 40% MLF. This is an elegant and graceful, but concentrated Chardonnay with layers of interest that unfold with breathing. Match with grilled seafood and roasted poultry or pork over the next 4-5 years.18.5/20
Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2009 – 19.5/20

Raymond Chan, July 2011

Mendoza clone Chardonnay from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard hand-picked and whole bunch pressed, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., and aged 9 months in 25% new French oak barriques, 40% of the wine undergoing MLF. Full, even straw-yellow with golden hues to the colour, this has a very full, rich and concentrated bouquet packed with ripe citrus fruit and stonefruit aromas, along with a creamy, spicy malolactic and barrel-ferment amalgam. Layers of nuanced nutty notes unfold in the glass. A rich, concentrated and densely constructed wine, the depth and layers of flavour are the features. Ripe stonefruits, mealiness, nuts and spices merge with seamlessness. Excellent acid freshness is juxtaposed with decadent creamy textures, providing finesse to the impressive presence of the wine. And a long, flavoursome finish highlights the quality here. Serve with rich seafood, pork and veal dishes over the next 4-6 years.19.5-/20
Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2009 – 93 points

Nick Stock, The Age/Sydney Morning Herald Good Wine Guide 2012

The flagship chardonnay from Ata Rangi, this is sourced from old Mendoza vines, so expect a powerful wine. The nose has a mix of savoury nuts and nougat across grilled white-peach and nectarine fruits; some creamed honey too. Plenty of acid holds the richness in check right throughout the palate; peach and nougat repeated faithfully here. Long, toasty finish. Impressive.93/100

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2009 – 97 points

Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine, April 2011

This has more power and concentration than the Petrie Chardonnay but with a similar balance of elegant stone- and citrus-fruit flavours with nutty, mealy characters. A balanced, complex chardonnay.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2009

Jancis Robinson MW, 22 Feb 2012

Like the Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, this has a much funkier nose than the NZ norm. Very substantial, burgundian palate. Lots to get your teeth into here! Yet it is not uncomfortably tart. Just a hint of tangerine. Should have a very long drinking window, 2012 – 2019.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2009 – 95 points

Bob Campbell MW, Dec 2010

More power and concentration than the less expensive Petrie but with a similar balance of elegant stone and citrus fruit flavours with nutty, mealy characters from oak fermentation and lengthy lees contact. Wonderfully balanced and complex Chardonnay in a supremely elegant style. One of the country’s best.95/100

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2010 – Five Stars

Michael Cooper

This memorable Martinborough wine has notable richness, complexity and downright drinkability. From a company-owned block of low-yielding, Mendoza-clone vines in the Craighall Vineyard, planted in 1983, it is hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques (typically 25 per cent new). From a ‘perfect season for Chardonnay’, the 2010 vintage (5*) is a very Meursault-like wine, powerful and youthful, with deep, ripe stone-fruit flavours, good acid spine and a rich, finely poised, lasting finish. Best drinking 2014+.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2005 – 90 points (tasted Jan 13)

Jeannie Cho Lee MW,

Toasted hazelnuts with a smokey edge. Very small crop with concentrated flavours of intense mixed nuts, a richness on the palate without heaviness. Layered and not showing its age at all. Can keep/age for another 5+ years.
Tasted : January 2013, Wellington, New Zealand

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