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Featured Reviews

Two Paddocks 2015 ‘First Paddock’, ‘Last Chance’ and ‘Fusilier’ Pinot Noirs

05 April,2017
The Two Paddocks Central Otago wine venture of well-known actor Sam Neill is based on four small vineyards. From three of them, single vineyard wines which show distinctive and individual character, and are of the required level of quality are produced. The ‘First Paddock’ in Gibbston was Sam’s original and foundation vineyard, planted in 1993 to 2 ha of clone 5 Pinot Noir. It was extended in 2008 to 5 ha with more clone 5, as well as 943, 115 and 10/5. It has the highest elevation and rainfall of all his sites and is the last to be harvested each year. The ‘Last Chance’ site in Eanscleugh, Alexandra, is 3 ha in size and was planted in 1998 to clones 5, 6, 115, Abel and 777. It has bony soils and low rainfall. It is named after a water race which runs through the site. The ‘Fusilier’ on Felton Road, Bannockburn has 5.6 h of Pinot Noir, clones 10/5, 115, 777, 113, 114, 667, 5 and 6, planted in 2000. Sam acquired the vineyard from Desert Heart in 2013. It performs with the most consistency of all three sites, and is named after Sam’s father, Major Dermot Neill. 2015 is the first time that Sam has been able to release a single vineyard wine from all three sites simultaneously. The sites come under the viticultural care of Mike Wing, and the wines are made by Dean Shaw at the Central Otago Wine Co. I review the wines here. They are elegant in style and show regionality, and will be released 1 May 2017.


Two Paddocks ‘Proprietor’s Reserve’ ‘The First Paddock’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Full, moderately deep ruby-red colour with purple tints, lighter on the rim. The nose is concentrated with deep, intense and well-packed aromas of dark-red cherry fruit harmoniously melded with an amalgam of fresh, dark and dried herbs, and savoury whole cluster stalk elements, unfolding piquant red floral perfumes. This has power and aromatic depth. Medium-bodied, the palate has sweet, vibrant and juicy flavours of dark-red cherry fruit integrated with savoury dark herbs and whole bunch stalk notes. The fruit flavours form a well-concentrated core and is supported by balanced, fine-grained powdery tannin extraction, and enlivened by refreshing, lacy acidity. The wine flows with vitality and linearity, leading to a lingering finish of red fruits and savoury herbs. This is a densely packed, but elegant Pinot Noir with red cherry and savoury herb flavours on a vibrant, fine-grained palate. Match with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 6-7+ years. Clone 5 fruit from the first 25 rows, hand-picked and sorted, indigenous yeast fermented with 50% whole bunches to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 30% new French oak. 140 dozen made. 18.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $80.00

Two Paddocks ‘Proprietor’s Reserve’ ‘The Last Chance’ Earnscleugh Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Even ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, paler on the edge. The nose is very refined with intensely fragrant dark-red and black cherry aromas lifted by dark-red and violet florals, complexed by subtle notes of dark herbs and whole bunch stalk nuances. This has focus and purity with elegance. Medium-full bodied, the palate has harmoniously interwoven flavours of dark-red and black cherry fruit lifted by red and violet florals, forming a smooth and integrated heart with dark herb and black mineral detail. The palate is lively, vibrant and rich with fresh acidity and fruit drive providing depth and linearity. The wine carries to an elegant, finely concentrated finish of dark-red and black fruits and herbal and mineral suggestions. This is a finely concentrated Pinot Noir with dark-red and black fruits, fragrant florals, and herb and mineral complexities on a smooth, integrated and linear palate. Serve with lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8 years. Clones 115 and 5, hand-picked and sorted, indigenous yeast fermented with one-third whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in one-third new French oak barriques. 150 dozen made. 18.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $80.00

Two Paddocks ‘Proprietor’s Reserve’ ‘The Fusilier’ Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter edged. This has a softly full and voluminous nose of ripe, dark-red berry fruits with a solidly packed core with harmoniously entwined aromas of dark thyme herbs, red florals, whole bunch stalk nuances and savoury, earthy plum notes. The aromatics grow in presence with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich, broad and mouthfilling flavours of dark-red berry fruits with dark plum and spice notes, along with savoury dark herb, whole bunch stalk and earthy elements. The fruit is supported by balanced, fine-grained tannin extraction providing elegant structure and grip, with the acidity softly ripe and integrated. The wine flows smoothly to a fulsome, even finish of red berry and plum fruit with notes of spice and earth. This is a rich, mouthfilling, smooth-flowing Pinot Noir with ripe red berry fruit with plum, herb and earthy detail, on a finely extracted palate. Match with casseroles and game meat dishes over the next 6-7+ years. Clones 115, 10/5, 677, 777, 6, 5, 113 and 114, hand-picked and sorted, indigenous yeast fermented with one-third whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in one-third new French oak barriques. 350 dozen made. 18.5/20 Apr 2017 RRP $80.00
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