2014

The Fusilier Bannockburn

Pinot Noir

Named in honour of Sam's father, Major Dermot Neill.

*INAUGURAL release 1st May 2016

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four small estate vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realise that one of these sites may have something extraordinary to say in its own right.  It is only then that we will make one of these very rare single vineyard wines.” Sam Neill, Proprietor

The Fusilier Vineyard is named in honour of Sam’s father, Major Dermot Neill, a soldier in the Royal Irish Fusilier Regiment for twenty years before returning home to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he ran the family Wine & Spirit business, Neill & Co. Planted entirely in 2000, The Fusilier is 5.6 hectares of Pinot Noir, on rolling northerly facing terraces at the western end of Felton Rd and bordered by the vineyard of the same name. Soils on the terraces consist of deep alluvial fans, which are made up of varying depths of silt, sand and gravel layering all derived from mountainous raw schist parent material. 

Not for sale, please contact us for more information.

Named in honour of Sam's father, Major Dermot Neill.

*INAUGURAL release 1st May 2016

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four small estate vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realise that one of these sites may have something extraordinary to say in its own right.  It is only then that we will make one of these very rare single vineyard wines.” Sam Neill, Proprietor

The Fusilier Vineyard is named in honour of Sam’s father, Major Dermot Neill, a soldier in the Royal Irish Fusilier Regiment for twenty years before returning home to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he ran the family Wine & Spirit business, Neill & Co. Planted entirely in 2000, The Fusilier is 5.6 hectares of Pinot Noir, on rolling northerly facing terraces at the western end of Felton Rd and bordered by the vineyard of the same name. Soils on the terraces consist of deep alluvial fans, which are made up of varying depths of silt, sand and gravel layering all derived from mountainous raw schist parent material. 

Vintage Comment:

A cool spring produced slow growth until November, which along with parts of December, was above average warmth. Flowering started in the first week of December and lasted over three weeks. All vines were green thinned and shoulders removed in the same pass. Very little disease pressure and we started harvesting on the 31st March at The Fusilier.

Winemakers Notes:

Hand picked and sorted in the vineyard.  One-third whole-bunch fermentation in a 3.5 tonne wooden cuve. 5 day cold soak.  No commercial yeast added, ferment temperature peaked at 32° – post fermentation transferred to medium and light toast French barriques for 11 months maturation.  One-third new wood and the balance in second and third fill barrels. Light filtration prior to bottling. 

Spicy dark black currant, violet and lifted herb aromatics.  This gives way to an elegant texturally driven wine showing a strong sense of place, density and interest.

pH  3.58 -- TA   6.1 g/l -- Alc  13.5%

Proprietor: Sam Neill

Viticulturist:  Mike Wing

Winemaker:  Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2015

Total Production: 300 doz

Cellaring: 2015 -2020

Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Decanter UK Jan 2017 Most Exciting Wines Read More

Wild strawberry and raspberry fruit backed by restrained, savoury oak and delicately chewy tanins.  Bramble fruit and autumn leaves give a complex and vibrant structure; just what one wants from a Pinot Noir.  Drink 2017-2021

JamesSuckling.com Dec 2016 94 Points Top 50 NZ Read More

The Top 50 New Zealand Wines of 2016 - A slightly reticent nose shows laid back red-cherry fruits, crushed roses and rosehip. Some sappy elements too, and there's a focus on red cherry fruits here that belies the wine's Bannockburn location. The newest vineyard in the Two Paddocks collection. The palate has impressive acidity, which holds upbeat red-cherry and boysenberry flavors long and expansive. Glossy polished tannins wrap neatly and frame impressive length and focus. Drink now to 2025+.  Nick Stock, Contributing Editor

Michael Cooper's Buyers Guide to New Zealand Wines Dec 2016 Read More

The debut 2014 vintage was estate-grown at Bannockburn, at the western end of Felton Road. Hand-picked, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured for 11 months in French oak barriques (33 per cent new). Showing excellent density and complexity, it is mouthfilling and fleshy, with concentrated, ripe, plummy, spicy flavours, very gentle tannins, slightly fungal, earthy notes adding complexity, and obvious potential; open 2019+

Jancis Robinson MW, The Financial Times Oct 2016 16.5+ Points Read More

The first vintage from Sam Neill's fourth and avowedly final vineyard acquisition, a mature six hectares of Pinot on Felton Road in Bannockburn named in honour of his soldier father (Harrow, Sandhurst and all that).  Smooth, polished fruit with a hint of coffee (though no excess oak). Already accessible but no hurry to drink this. Good freshness.

Cameron Douglas MS Jul 2016 95 Points Read More

On the nose – an immediate signature of mineral, soil, soft dried herb and ripe ripe fruit, wild black cherry, dark red apple skin, some cashew nutty oak and toasty spice.  On the palate – a great reflection of what the nose suggests – with sweet red berry fruits, fine tannins with dried herb and schist soil ideas, lots of youthful energy from medium+ acidity.  Great length.

John Saker Jun 2016 19 Points Read More

There is much to admire in this wine. The aromatics are low and fascinating - floral, soil after rain, turmeric, suggestions of oak spice. A central core of red and dark fruit notes, with a dash of plum compote, arrives swathed in sexy tannins. Sweet and savoury notes play off against each other. There is a gentle, substantial quality to the texture and wine grows and grows in the glass. Two Paddocks’ finest effort yet - a triumph.

Geoff Kelly Wine Reviews Jun 2016 19 Points Read More

Classic pinot noir,  fractionally above midway in depth.  Bouquet is dramatically varietal,  beautiful sweet florals including darkest purple buddleia through deep dusky roses to boronia,  on red grading to black cherry fruit.  There is an exciting lift on the bouquet,  taking the wine straight to Cote de Nuits.  Palate is almost  succulent,  wonderful concentration,  clearly aromatic in the most positive Cote de Nuits way,  the whole wine in its youthful and still fleshy way reminding of vineyards such as Clos-Saint-Jacques,  Gevrey-Chambertin.  This is benchmark wine in the great 2014 vintage in Central Otago,  a wine against which others may be measured.  Length of flavour is lovely:  I look forward to a dry extract on this wine,  it should be over 30 g/L.  Cellar 5 – 15 years,  maybe longer. 

Wine Spectator, 31 May 2016 May 2016 92 Points Read More

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The tannins are both firm and fine-grained, giving plenty of structure and adding a plush note to the bramble, wild strawberry and raspberry flavors. Ginger and sandalwood accents show on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2026.

Cameron Douglas MS, The Shout NZ Apr 2016 94 Points Read More

A bouquet of established vines, soil and sense of place; aromas of light red fruits gently spiced with smoky oak tones and a steely moment that comes from established vines and instinctive wine making. On the palate: ripe, red fruit favouring dark cherry and plum pit; a savoury tone adds complexity with a softer wild herb moment; attractive mineral underscore; ripe medium+ acidity; enough new oak and a lengthy finish.

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews Apr 2016 18.5 Points Read More

Full, very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with light purple on the rim. This has a gently full and voluminous nose with complex layers of savoury dark-red berry fruits melded with dried herbs, earth and whole bunch stalk-like elements, and piquant, funky, minerally nuances, The aromatics are lively with a fresh, herbal underlay, and build in density with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the flavours of savoury red berry fruits, earth, dried thyme herbs and whole bunch stalk notes are complex and mouthfilling. The fruit is rich and enlivened by underlying acidity, and supported by fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction and structure. Alcoholic generosity and power drives the wine to a soft, open, savoury, red-fruited finish. This is a full-flavoured, savoury red-fruited Pinot Noir with whole bunch complexities, fine-grained structure and considerable power. Match with casseroles and game meat dishes over the next 6+ years. Fruit from the 5.6 ha "The Fusilier" vineyard on Felton Road, vines planted in 2000, hand-picked and indigenous yeast fermented with one-third whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in one-third new French oak barriques. 300 dozen made.

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Mar 2016 97 Points Read More

From their newly acquired vineyard at the end of Felton Road in the Bannockburn district, this is an exquisitely composed pinot showing aromas of dark berry, game, truffle and cedar on the nose. The palate is equally stunning with superb fruit concentration and weight, enhanced by velvety texture and supple tannins. Youthful yet immediately appealing, this is destined to develop magnificently. A great addition to already a formidable range of pinots at Two Paddocks. At its best: now to 2024.

Julia Harding MW Jan 2016 17 Points Read More

Cherry red. Intense, ripe, sweet cherry fruit. Rich, ripe and sweet-fruited on the palate too, with additional sweetness from the oak spice. Firm, chewy and compact. More power than many in this line of Central Otago Pinots and needs time.