The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2018 this wine was produced from the four Neill family Central Otago vineyards. These small sites are high-density planted in a range of clonal material cropped to under 5 Tonne per hectare with most vineyard practices carried out by hand. As in the vineyard, the wine is hand crafted using traditional methods including a 25% whole bunch, indigenous fermentation and hand plunging. Maturation is in French barriques for 10 months, using a mix of older and new (20%) barrels. Vegan friendly.
Two Paddocks 2018 harvest will be remembered as the earliest picking date on record. A warm spring that quickly turned in to a hot summer with much warmer night time temperatures than are typically experienced in Alexandra. Ideal conditions over flowering, which was a month early, began on the 20th November. Again, perfect growing conditions meant veraison also began a month early on the 20th January. The extreme heat and dry finished abruptly on the 1st February. Cooler temperatures over February / March thankfully slowed ripening down and intensified flavour development. However, harvest still began nearly a month earlier than typical on the 14th March and was over by the 11th April. Both the grapes and stems were beautifully ripe, intensely flavoured and in perfect health.
Hand harvested, 75% de-stemmed and given a 7 day pre-fermentation cold maceration to extract colour and aroma. After an indigenous fermentation, with a single plunging per day, the wine was given another 5 days post fermentation time on skins. Wine is then transferred to 1-4 (20% new oak) year old French medium toast barriques for a 10-month maturation, before racking and bottling.
Estate Vineyard composition: 27% The Fusilier - Bannockburn, 22% - The Last Chance – Earnscleugh (Alexandra), 29% The Red Bank – Earnscleugh (Alexandra) and 22% The First Paddock – Gibbston.
This wine shows black currant, ripe red plum fruit and spicy aromatics following through to a rich plush but elegantly textured mouthfeel with great density, persistence and poise.
pH 3.60 TA 5.9 g/l Alc 13.0 %
Proprietor: Sam Neill Viticulturist: Mike Wing Winemaker: Dean Shaw
Bottled: February 2019 Cellar: 2019 – 2026
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