Two Paddocks Fusilier Pinot Noir 2017
Spicy red fruit, dried herb and wildflower aromatics leading to a feminine, lithe and textural driven wine. This wine shows great tension, verve, density and persistence.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This vintage of proprietor Sam Neill’s premium organically farmed Pinot is, for the moment, young and reductive, a sturdier wine that we’ve seen, but one that should reward time in the cellar. Rather than the broody, oniony aromas associated with reduction, this version emphasizes the wine’s vegetal and herbal characters: green bell pepper in a sea of freshly plucked, earthy herbs, brambly berries and wildflowers. Streaks of minerals appear as the wine opens. Taut, spicy, chalky tannins grip the tongue, but a river of juicy fruit washes it away, ready for the next sip.
Two Paddocks' 2017 The Fusilier Pinot Noir comes from the estate's warmest vineyard, next to Felton Road in the Bannockburn subregion. It's the most structured and tannic of the offerings, with dark fruit, earthy nuances, a stolid, muscular feel in the mouth and firm (but ripe) tannins on the finish. Hints of hickory smoke join stemmy notes on the nose, while plummy fruit joins with hints of dark chocolate on the palate and lingers on the finish.
Established in 1993 by itinerant actor Sam Neill, initially the sole aim was to share ethereal pinot noir moments with loved ones. Sam is now the only producer to own land in the three main valleys of Central Otago - Gibbston, Bannockburn (Cromwell Basin) and Alexandra. All vineyards are certified organic. Two Paddocks Estate Pinot Noir is an assemblage of the four vineyards and is a barrel selection comprised of the older blocks. Tiny volumes of single vineyard wines, The Proprietor's Reserves, are also produced. The First Paddock Vineyard is in Gibbston, The Fusilier Vineyard is in Bannockburn and The Last Chance and The Red Bank Vineyards are in Alexandra.
Central Otago is the Southern-most viticultural area in the Antipodes--it sits on the 45th Parallel below Tasmania. Two Paddocks aims to produce understated gentle savoury expressions of their extreme Southern cool climate schist rock origins. Two Paddocks vineyards and wines are certified organic and revolve around a holistic sustainable farming model wherebye all waste from the winery is returned to the vineyards and converted to compost, to be fed back on to the land. The over-riding philosophy is to never take out of the soil more than is being given back. This robust soil biomass will create vibrant healthy vines that produce the very best expressions of their Central Otago terroir. All the crew in the vineyard are full time employees of Two Paddocks, except for the height of summer when extra help is required for all the labour intensive work that organic farming practices demand eg. green thinning and hand harvesting.
Home to the globe’s most southerly vineyards, which are cultivated below the 45th parallel, Central Otago is a true one-of-a-kind wine growing region, but not only because of its extreme location.
Central Otago is more dependent on one single variety than any other region in New Zealand—and it isn’t Sauvignon blanc. They don’t even make Sauvignon blanc there.
Pinot Noir claims nearly 75% of the region’s vineyards with Pinot Gris coming in a far second place and Riesling behind it. This is also New Zealand’s only wine region with a continental climate, giving it more diurnal and seasonal temperature shifts than any other.
The subregion of Bannockburn has enjoyed the most success historically but the area’s exceptional growth has moved to the promising regions of Cromwell/Bendigo and Alexandra districts. Central Otago is known for its fruity and full-bodied Pinot noir. With the freedom to experiment here, growers and winemakers are easily exhibiting the area’s great potential.