“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four small vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realize 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 honor 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.
After a very mild winter the soil temperature at the beginning of Spring was warmer than usual resulting in a solid growth start with reasonable bud burst conditions. The fruit set (bunch formation) was in the first week of December and was relatively consistent. This set up a reasonable and balanced crop load across the vineyard blocks. After this period ‘The Wind’ started and
was relentless until the start of March, when thankfully the more typical warm and dry late summer weather patterns of Central Otago were experienced until harvest in April.
“Even in a cooler year our warmest vineyard site has produced some of the ripest and most balanced fruit typical of the Felton Rd micro-climate.” Mike Wing, Two Paddocks Viticulturist (Since 2009)
Hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard. 65% 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. 30% new oak and the balance in one- and two-year fill barrels, for 11 months maturation. Light filtration prior to bottling.
Clonal ratio – 40% 777, 30% 115, 25% 667, 5% 10/5
Wild spice, violet, red fruits and some brooding whole bunch aromatics. Flowing on to a rich textural palate that shows great poise, elegance and density.
“This wine shows a blue fruit spectrum interlaced with wild herb aromatics and flow. The palate has a strong rich warmth with great texture. This wine shows depth persistence and drive and reflects its place.” Dean Shaw, Two Paddocks Winemaker (Since 1999)
Proprietor: Sam Neill Viticulturist: Mike Wing Winemaker: Dean Shaw
Bottled: March 2018 Total Production:300 doz Cellaring: Up to 12 years.
pH 3.54 TA 5.8 g/L Alc 12.5 %
|Award / Reviewer||Date||Rating||Review|
|Sam Kim, Wine Orbit||Jan 2020||96 points|
"This is deeply scented and engaging on the nose showing dark berry, smoked game, truffle, thyme and floral aromas, followed by a superbly concentrated palate that's plush and persistent. It's generous yet elegant and harmonious with multi-layered mouthfeel, finishing impressively long and expansive. From their Bannockburn Vineyard. At its best: now to 2030. Certified organic."
|Huon Hooke, The Real Review:||Jan 2019||97 points|
“Deep red colour with a good purple tint; the bouquet powerful with lots of stemmy whole-bunch character (they use up to 50% for the single vineyard wines). The palate is very deep and fleshy, strongly constructed, plush-textured and powerful. A very striking pinot noir. “
|James Suckling||Oct 2018||96 points|
“Very complex, complete and convincing Bannockburn pinot noir that delivers a fascinating array of pure red cherries, sappy and spicy complexity and a beautifully arranged palate that has long, fleshy and silky fruit presence.