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Two Paddocks The Last Chance Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
  • WW95
  • RP93
  • WE90
13% ABV
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • W&S92
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Spicy brooding wildflower, thyme and violet aromatics followed by a richly textured wine showing elegant tannins, texture and tension.

The Last Chance is a beautifully sited small terrace perched in bright clear air above the Earnscleugh Valley, carefully planted with well-tended Burgundian clone pinot noir. It nestles amongst a small cluster of the World's most southerly vineyards and takes its name from the watercourse that runs through its heart, hand dug by gold miners in the 1860s, The Last Chance.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 95
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2012 Two Paddocks The Last Chance is a monumental achievement, while it is already showing itself off, time may make it way better. Wild and pure from start to finish. Begs for the best marbled steak in the house! Medium brick color; wild strawberry aromas, excellent depth; medium bodied, has a bit of weight on the palate; black fruit flavors, fine concentration; long aftertaste. (Tasted: July 27, 2015, San Francisco, CA)
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2012 Last Chance Pinot Noir has gorgeous kirsch, red currant jelly, game and violets notes on the nose with nuances of thyme and truffles. Very elegant and fresh in the mouth with a great intensity of red fruit characters and satiny tannins, it concludes with great persistence and a minerally lift.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
It was fascinating to compare this to Two Paddocks’ regular bottling. The Last Chance is slightly richer, but otherwise features many of the same elements: smoke, tart cherries and delicate herbal notes. Despite the extra concentration, it’s still supple and approachable now.
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Two Paddocks

Two Paddocks

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Two Paddocks, Central Otago, New Zealand
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Two Paddocks is a small family wine producing business that is entirely dedicated to making great wine. We started in 1993 with modest ambitions and first planted five acres of Pinot Noir at our original little vineyard at Gibbston, Central Otago in the deep south of New Zealand. At the same time, our friend Roger Donaldson planted the land next door, hence the name Two Paddocks. (Roger has his own brand now, and we are left with the title.)

I wanted to produce a good Pinot Noir that would, at the very least, be enjoyed by my family and friends. Frankly, my friends will pretty much drink anything, so this didn't seem too hard. To our great surprise, our first vintage in 1997 was much better than we hoped, in spite of a difficult growing season. 1998 was a more distinguished vintage, and in 1999 we were astounded to produce a Pinot that was, we thought, world class. Here was a wine of considerable complexity with an amazing nose, delicious fruit and a good lengthy finish.

Since that time with each successive vintage, we have produced a Pinot Noir that has done us proud and is, to be frank, too good to be wasted on our friends. They still somehow manage to bludge a lot off us, and that, combined with the proprietor's generous thirst, accounts for the occasional scarcity of Two Paddocks Pinot.

-Sam Neill

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 difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

HNYTPSLCP12C_2012 Item# 144623