A half-bottle of Ata Rangi’s entry-level, young vines (<15 years old) cuvee, bought at the vineyard after a long chat with Eleanor at their cellar door in Martinborough. Drunk that evening in La Mousse bistro, in Martinborough centre, which allows BYO for Martinborough wines! Though designed to be drunk young, this has stature and concentration, plus structure enough for a couple of years’ cellaring. Medium-depth ruby core with a thin, rosy rim. Oak notes lead, but are integrated on the nose: chocolate, toast and caramel, followed by some meaty notes over black fruit (plum, cherry). Ripe, rich, black cherry and spice palate. Some acidity, but a medium-full body, and soft, ripe tannin, that gently grips at the finish. Good stuff. Can’t wait for the 2006 Ata Rangi to be shipped home & cellared!