Happenings from the vineyards, wineries and roads travelled between.

Sauvignon Blanc

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – 92 Points

Jamie Goode | December 2018

There’s a lovely ripeness and roundness here, with a faint hint of nice reduction, together with white peach, grapefruit and fine herbs, as well as a touch of tangerine. Understated and pure with nice precision. A hint of jasmine, too.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – 18+/20 points

Raymond Chan | October 2018


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion and expressed with finesse, showing gooseberries and green stonefruits along with piquant fresh herbs entwined with subtle notes of nutty oak and minerally lees nuances. This is detailed and delicate. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant and rounded core with an array of flavours showing gooseberries, green stonefruits, fresh herbs, hints of capsicums and cut grass, along with mouthwatering elements. The mouthfeel is fresh and vibrant and the wine flows along a very fine-textured phenolic line with fresh acidity enlivening the fruit and providing energy. The wine carries to a very long, sweet and succulent finish. This is an elegant and intensely penetrating Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberries, green stonefruits, piquant herbs and minerals on a fine-textured palate with crisp acid vitality. Serve with seafood and herb-marinated pasta, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years. Fruit from ‘Walnut Ridge’, ‘Hau Ariki Marae’, ‘Southdown Estate’, ‘Moy Hall’ and ‘Brimmies’ sites, fermented in tank and 40% in barrel, 10% fermented on skins for 8 weeks, with 5% fermented as whole bunches for 4 weeks, the fermentation with high solids by indigenous yeasts to 12.5% alc. and dryness, with some MLF in barrel.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – 93 Points

Jamie Goode | December 2018

Beautifully aromatic with lovely ginger, mandarin and herb notes, as well as a touch of elderflower. Lovely vivid palate with some green, nettley notes and powerful fruit. It’s not a big wine, but it has real presence and drive. Good structure, too. Linear with a nice mineral edge.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – 92 Points

Nick Stock |

A small portion of skin contact adds another dimension to this restrained lime and herb leaf style. The cooler vintage has really focused this wine into a fresh, long lime citrus mode on the palate. Drink now. November 2017.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – 18+/20 points

Raymond Chan | October 2017

Raranga means woven in Maori, reflecting the winemaking techniques. The first release of an alternative Sauvignon Blanc style. Very pale straw with slight green hues. The nose is very fine and taut, showing cooler-spectrum gooseberry fruit, green stonefruits, nettle herbs and nutty elements, quite slender. Dry to taste, the palate is tightly bound with intense and aromatic flavours of green stonefruits, nectarines with gooseberries, along with nettle elements and spices, revealing mineral hints. The texture is very fine, and the palate is crisp with brisk acidity. Good line, finishing with lightness. The cooler vintage shows, but the inputs positive and subtle, and in balance. Hand-picked fruit, 10% fermented on skins for 8 weeks, 4% whole bunch fermented, 40% in barrel by indigenous yeasts with high solids to 12.5% alc., a portion undergoing MLF.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – 90 Points

Joe Czerwinski | Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The medium-bodied 2016 Sauvignon Blanc features hints of crushed tomato leaf on the nose, plus plenty of fig, nectarine and grapefruit flavors. It’s ripe and plump in the mouth, without losing its varietal herbal notes, and ends long, with a deft combination of green grass and wet stones. June 2018
Wine Advocate

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – 93 Points

Christina Pickard | Wine Enthusiast

Chief winemaker Helen Masters has produced a Sauvignon Blanc full of delicacy and restraint. Enchanting aromas of apple peel, lime blossom, wild mint and ginger glide seamlessly into a bright, shimmery palate that prickles with a juicy, copper-penny tang and just a touch of textural weight, all ensconced in a long, salty, pithy finish. Delicious on its own, this would be glorious with a wide range of east and southeast Asian dishes. January 2018

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – 17.5+/20 points

Raymond Chan | October 2016

Helen has worked very hard at making a style that is suited to her fruit and the district, giving a point of difference to the passionfruity thiol-monsters of the 2016 Marlborough vintage. Elegance, freshness of fruit, more methoxypyrazine gooseberry fruit, bright acidity and delicate textures were the aim, and for this, she’s used some skin contact and 30% in barrel. Very pale straw. The nose is tight and elegant with ripe yellow stonefruits and green stonefruits, and no tropical fruit. On palate crisp and steely with a slippery mouthfeel. Gooseberry fruit with subtle textures and detail. But the fruit and freshness prevail. It’s a more slender wine than some of the worked examples made elsewhere.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – 88 points

The Wine Advocate | Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Displaying youthful gooseberry, green apple and lime leaves notes with a hint of sage, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is light-bodied, crisp and refreshing with understated herbal flavors and a minerally finish. 31/12/16
The Wine Advocate

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – 16.5 points

Julia Harding |, May 2016

Includes a small proportion of wine made from whole berries fermented in barrel to add texture. There’s still a hint of the pear character – fermentation-related? – lingering here but also quite a marked peppery aroma. Stone fruit and pear rather than the typically grassy style of NZ Sauvignon. Bone dry, even a little salty. Distinctively and well made.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – 92 points

Nick Stock |, Jan. 2016

A little skin contact here, smells of ripe pear fruits as well as some bright tropical lemon citrus, melon and other tropical fruits, the palate is big on pineapple and passion fruit flavor, peachy through the finish. Drink now.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – 95 points

Bob Campbell MW |, October 2015

Weighty, concentrated Sauvignon Blanc, with a mix of gooseberry and red capsicum together with riper nectarine, tree fruit flavours plus a seasoning of nutty yeast lees character. Textural, satisfying wine in quite a complex style.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015 18.0/20

Raymond Chan | October 2015

Very pale and clear colour. This has soft, gentle ethereal aromatics, showing a subtle amalgam of gooseberries, fresh herbs and white florals, fresh and balanced, quite harmonious. Dry with soft depth and density, and considerable palate presence. Lovely concentration with thirst-quenching soft textures. Subtle, but positive floral and passionfruit fruit along with stonefruits, enlivened by lacy acidity. Very good length. Approx. 50% given skin contact and 30% fermented in old oak.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – 92 points

Bob Campbell MW |, November 2014

Flavoursome Sauvignon Blanc with bright passion fruit, orange blossom, grapefruit and lemon grass flavours. The wine has an appealing ethereal texture and almost fizzy, fruity acidity that adds an extra shot of freshness.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – 4.5 Stars

Charmian Smith | Otago Daily Times, Sept 2014

At a year old, this stylish wine is deliciously concentrated with suggestions of melon, golden peach and crisp apple, hints of smokiness and mineral, and a well balanced, textural, crisp, lingering aftertaste. A food-friendly wine that will continue to develop for another year or two.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – 91 Points, 4.5 Stars

Sam Kim | WineOrbit, August 2014

Elegant, complex and stylish, this partially barrel fermented (20%) sauvignon shows delicately fragrant aromas of white peach, ripe citrus, feijoa and dill. The palate is concentrated and focused showing excellent mid palate weight and fine texture, beautifully framed by bright acidity. It’s long, linear and seamless. At its best: now to 2019.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – 87 points

Bob Campbell MW |, April 2013

Pure and pretty floral, passion fruit and stone fruit flavours with an ethereal texture. Dry, or perhaps dry-ish, Sauvignon Blanc with delicacy and charm. Geographically and stylishly in between Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – 89 points

Lisa Perroti-Brown |, October 2012

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 opens with intense notes of ripe apple, passion fruit and cut grass with underlying hints of pea pods and capsicum. Nicely textured on the palate, with outstanding concentration and a backbone of refreshingly crisp acid, it finishes long and layered with good balance throughout. Drink it now to 2014.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Five Stars

Michael Cooper

A consistently attractive wine, with ripe tropical-fruit rather than grassy, herbaceous flavours. The outstanding 2011 vintage (5*) was hand-picked and mostly handled in tanks, but a small portion (about 10 per cent) of the blend was fermented and lees-aged in seasoned French oak barrels. The bouquet is aromatic and complex; the palate is weighty and lively, with cool-climate zestiness and concentrated melon/lime flavours, fresh, crisp, dry and long. It’s a very distinctive and harmonious wine, full of personality.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – 93 points

Gourmet Traveller Wine Jun/Jul 2012

A restrained, sophisticated and quite complex sauvignon blanc with a subtle influence of barrel fermentation that slightly dampens the fruit flavour but adds an extra dimension of taste and texture to the wine.

Ata Rangi Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – 18/20

Raymond Chan | August 2014

Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues at heart, paler on edge. The nose is soft, and restrained with ripe aromas of green stonefruits, gooseberries and tropical fruits, along with delicate yellow floral nuances. The aromatics build to show good depth and intensity. Dry to taste, the palate is gently rich and softly textured, with gooseberries and yellow stonefruits interwoven with tropical fruit flavours. The palate follows a rounded core revealing stonefruit kernel elements. This has an underlying firm line and background acid freshness that carries the wine to a dry, lingering finish with soft stonefruit and herb notes. This is a soft and restrained, gently-textured ripe Sauvignon Blanc. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto and with Mediterranean fare over the next 2+ years. Fruit from ‘Lismore’, ‘Waiora’, ‘Walnut Ridge’, ‘Hau Ariki Marae’ and ‘Southdown Estate’, hand-picked, with 50% cold soaked and 20% indigenous yeast fermented in 3 y.o. oak, the remainder in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Rosemary George, UK Decanter. May 2011

From one of the pioneering estates of Martinborough. Pithy, ripe nose with a rounded, harmonious palate. Beautifully balanced. 18/20

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sept 2011

Very pale greenish-yellow color. Piquant aromas of gooseberry, lemon, grapefruit rind and pepper, complicated by green tropical fruits and lemongrass. Dense, supple and ripe, with citrus and stone fruit flavors lifted by fresh herbs and pepper and a touch of barrel spice. Offers a nice balance of weight and dusty energy, and clings nicely on the aftertaste. 90/100
Read the review on Snooth.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Bob Campbell MW, Jan 2011

Attractive ethereal wine with delicacy and charm. Quite concentrated passion fruit, melon and lemon grass flavours are supported by fruity acidity. The wine is lengthy and pleasantly dry.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2010 – 93/100

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

Martinborough legends Ata Rangi simply don’t release wines short of the mark. This outstandingly flavoursome savvy has a wealth of gooseberry and passionfruit, some subtle herbal threads and a neatly crafted palate that balances rich, ripe fruit with sizzling fresh acidity. Lovely pithy grapefruit finish that hangs on impressively. 93/100

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Winewise, Dec 2011

The first thing to notice about this sauvignon blanc is that it’s made from perfectly ripe grapes! Secondly, it is much more than just a fruit-driven dry white. The nose has the typical varietal grassy touch, but there are also aromas of tropical fruits and citrus. Lees- derived complexity adds to the attraction, and some barrel fermentation contributes texture to the intense palate. Highly recommended.

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – 18/20

Raymond Chan, Jan 2012

Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, this has a fine, bright and intense nose of mineral infused gooseberries, mint, white florals along with very subtle smoke and barrel-ferment notes. Dry and elegantly proportioned, restrained citrus, gooseberry and nectarine fruit flavours are complexed by delicate toasty barrel nuances. While fresh and lively, the mouthfeel has a gentle creaminess to the texture which leads to a sustained finish of lime fruit, nuts and spices. Fruit from 5 blocks, some given limited skin contact, cool-fermented in stainless-steel, with 20% in 3 y.o. oak to 13.5% alc., the BF portion aged on lees. This is an elegant and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with subtle barrel work adding delicate complexities and textures. Match with seafood, poultry and creamy cheeses over the next 2-3+ years. 18.0/20

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – 5 Stars

Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier, Feb 2012

Nose: Super Vibrant and classic with ‘old-fashioned’ grassy herbaceous suggestions and packed with gooseberry and peachy notes.
Palate: Very reflective of what the nose suggests with high and luscious acidity, plenty of citrus flavours now emerge along with gooseberryand grassy sweetish-herb-notes. A very tasty wine with a long and classic finish.
Cameron Douglas

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – 90 points

Huon Hooke

Light yellow colour. Attractive nutty and confectionery bouquet, barrel fermented and not pungently varietal, but also buttery malo-like. A touch of sweetness, also some richness; very appealing flavour and balance. Deep and long, too.

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