Our ‘no-add’ pinot noir was going to be called ‘Lazy’ as it is made by doing as little as possible – in fact the winemaker, Dean Shaw, jests that he will have time to help with picking this harvest as he has had so little input… Of course the exact opposite is true, as like any pursuit that pushes boundaries, this wine is a challenge for both the viticultural and winemaking teams as they attempt to create an example of a more ‘natural wine’.
Pristine, organically grown Fusilier Vineyard Bannockburn fruit, then zero sulphur or pH corrections, or fining at the winery…it’s not an easy road to follow for the winemaker as attention to detail and experience are tested to
uncomfortable limits. However, we think everyone can possibly feel just that little bit less preserved after a glass or two… Namaste.
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 far western end of Felton Rd. 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.
Spring and early summer started off well as temperatures steadily increased and regular rainfall meant soil moisture was high enabling the vines to easily access nutrients, so the vines had strong healthy early growth.
February was cooler than typical though with several cold southerly fronts bringing rain, which slowed veraison and seemed to stall what was at that point heading for an early harvest. Then March was far warmer and actually
surpassed February for heat accumulation - and an early harvest was back on! Harvest 2022 began on the 24/3/22 and finished on the 26/4/22.
It was the year that the region struggled to find workers due to Covid but Viticulturist, Mike Wing’s, close collaboration with local orchardists who all shared their workers, ensured Two Paddocks had another great harvest Crew.
Single Dijon Clone 115 on Riparia Gloire root stock. Selected and hand harvested from the Fusilier Vineyard.
60% of the grapes went through a gentle destemming process - the remainder 40% went into the vat as whole bunch. The grapes started naturally fermenting 6 days later and at this stage were gently hand plunged once a day for 10 days. After a total of 28 days we drained the vat to older French oak barriques. The wine naturally went through malo lactic fermentation and was finished by early summer. We then racked the wine from barrel in December 2022 and bottled the wine in mid-December.
No sulfur or any other additives or finings have been used during the winemaking or bottling process.
Literally 100% grapes. Bottled without Sulphur or filtration.
Bright redcurrant, spice and violet aromatics lead to a rich vibrant warmly textured mouthfeel softness, poise and depth.
Proprietor: Sam Neill Viticulturist: Mike Wing Winemaker: Dean Shaw
Bottled: December 2022 Total Production: 100 doz Cellaring: Drink NOW
Pre Fermentation: pH 3.15 -- TA 7.9 g/l Brix 23.4
Post Fermentation: pH 3.73 -- TA 5.9 g/L
Alc 13.0 %
|Award / Reviewer||Date||Rating||Review|
|New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide||Jan 2023|
"This wine was originally going to be called 'Lazy', because 'it is made by doing as little as possible'. The striking 2022 vintage (5*), estate-grown in the Fusilier Vineyard at Bannockburn, was handled with 'no added preservatives.' It has deep, purple-flushed colour. Mouthfilling and sweet-fruited, with a strong surge of vibrant plum and cherry flavours, it has gentle spicy notes, supple tannins and a very silky texture. Already delicious, it's certified organic."
|Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review||Jan 2023||95 Points|
"Organic wine from Two Paddocks' Bannockburn vineyard. A "natural" wine made without any addition of preservatives, and unfined. Dense, rich, elegant pinot noir with cassis, dark cherry, black Doris plum, spice (thyme) and subtle wood smoke flavours. Delicious wine with cellaring potential"
- Bob Campbell MW
|Sam Kim, Wine Orbit||Dec 2022||95 points|
"This is gorgeously styled and expressed on the nose showing dark berry, cured meat, thyme and warm spice aromas, leading to a concentrated palate delivering terrific weight and richness. Wonderfully textured and seamlessly flowing to a persistent velvety finish. From their Fusilier Vineyard in Bannockburn. Made without added preservatives and is unfined. At its best: now to 2025. Dec 2022." Sam Kim