The second release of our no-adds 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 ‘never been done befores’, this was a challenge for both the viticultural and winemaking teams to create a Two Paddocks example of a more ‘natural wine’ – pristine organically grown fruit then zero sulphur or pH corrections, or fining or filtering 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, at this early stage we think the result drinks for itself and everyone can possibly feel just that little bit less preserved after a glass or two…peace out.
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.
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 and then the extreme heat and dry finished abruptly on the 1st February. Cooler temperatures over February / March thankfully slowed ripening down and intensified flavour development, but harvest still began nearly a month earlier than typical on the 14th March and was over by the 11th April.
Clone 115 on Riparia Gloire root stock. Selected and picked from the Fusilier Vineyard on the 15/03/18 at 23.2 Brix. 80% of the grapes went through a gentle destemming process - the remainder 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 6 days. After a total of 17 days (6 days pre-ferment, 6 days ferment, 5 days on skins) we drained the vat to French oak barriques of which 14% were new oak. The wine naturally went through malo lactic fermentation and was finished by early spring. We then racked the wine from barrel in late October so a 6 month maturation in barrel and then bottled the wine in late November.
No sulfur or any other additives or fining or filtration have been used during the winemaking or bottling process. Literally 100% grapes.
Gorgeous violet, lilac and spicy fruit aromatics, followed with a generous mouthfeel showing overt forward texture and drive with a soft finish.
Pre-Fermentation: pH 3.28 TA 7.0 g/L Brix 23.2
Post Fermentation: pH 3.70 TA 6.2g/L Alc 13.5 %
Proprietor: Sam Neill Viticulturist: Mike Wing Winemaker: Dean Shaw
Bottled: November 2018 Total Production: 50 doz Cellaring: Drink it up NOW!!
|Award / Reviewer||Date||Rating||Review|
|JamesSuckling.com Nick Stock Contributing Editor||Oct 2019||93 Points|
This is a 50-case run of natural pinot that shows the sheer attractiveness and fleshy drinkability of ripe, red-cherry and peach-flavored fruit. Great to see this being made and so delicious, too. Drink now. Screw cap.