Ata Rangi’s McCrone Vineyard was planted in 2001 using a mix of clones that has become part of the Ata Rangi fabric: Abel or ‘Gumboot” clone, Dijon selections (115 and 777) and Clone 5. Although just around the corner from our home block, the soils are remarkably different.
Whilst the Martinborough Terrace is predominantly alluvial gravels, there is a compact seam of clay which threads its way across a section of the terrace, fanning out over the gravels and creating a cooling effect on the roots in the soil. The McCrone site catches this seam and delivers a distinctively different aroma and flavour profile than that of the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, even with vine age taken into account.
The 2017 McCrone is alluring on the nose and energetic on the palate – classic characteristics from cooler temperatures that the season delivered over the summer months. With overall growing degree days well below the normal range, picking started two weeks later than average with ripe tannins but low sugars. This is highlighted in tension and elegance, rather than weight and power of a warmer vintage. Florals and delicate herbal notes blend with wild fruits on the nose. The palate starts bright and fresh, with perfect pace through the mid palate and energy at the finish. This is a delicious wine; an in-house favourite.