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Two Paddocks The First Paddock Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
  • WS95
  • D94
  • JS94
  • RP92
13% ABV
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • JS96
  • WW93
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sourced from the first twenty-five rows of Clone 5, which was planted in Gibbston at The First Paddock vineyard in 1993. Hand harvested and sorted then a 50% whole bunch indigenous ferment in a dedicated First Paddock French oak cuve. Matured in 30% new French oak with the balance in older wood for an extended 14 months of barrel maturation.

Bright wild flower, spice and dark red fruit aromatics leads to an ethereal mineral derived palate. Showing great tension, drive and persistence.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Leaps out of the glass, with sophisticated aromas of white pepper, toasted cumin, dried lavender and white truffle. The pure maraschino cherry, pomegranate and cranberry flavors are fresh and vibrant, and the whole package is balanced and complex, reverberating on the finish, with just enough tannic traction to impart an appealing muscular core. Drink now through 2030.
D 94
Decanter
Owned by actor Sam Neill, best loved for his role in Jurassic Park, although Hunt for the Wilderpeople has my vote, Two Paddocks is based in Alexandra although its original vineyard is in Gibbston, planted in 1993. The 2016 is a ripe expression offering richness on the mid-palate, with more padding than you'd expect from this marginal subregion. It remains elegant and sophisticated, with fine-grained tannins and a fine spine of acidity. It has a long, lingering finish with notes of plum, cherry, violets, and a hint of dried herbs.
JS 94
James Suckling

Very attractive nose here with properly ripe red cherries, blueberries, earthy root vegetables and a whirl of sappy, wild herbs. The impressively long and powerful palate has a strong, central core of tannins that carries fresh, energetic cherry flavors. Drink or hold. Screw cap.

RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sam Neill's First Paddock is starting to show some significant vine age, as it was planted to Clone 5 in 1993. There are 200 cases of the 2016 The First Paddock Pinot Noir, a medium-bodied, velvety-textured expression of a cool site in a warm vintage. Floral notes abound, along with dark fruit and savory, earthy notes. Despite its rich texture, there's some serious backbone to this wine, and it should age well for up to a decade.
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Two Paddocks

Two Paddocks

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Two Paddocks, Central Otago, New Zealand
Video of winery

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 - eg. it sits on the 45th Parallel below Tasmania.

Two Paddocks aims to produce understated gentle savory 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 whereby 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 labor-intensive work that organic farming practices demand eg. green thinning and hand harvesting. 

Central Otago

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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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

HNYTPSFPN16C_2016 Item# 415935