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2010 The First Paddock Pinot Noir

About the wine

Proprietor's Reserve

The First Paddock is our original much loved Two Paddocks vineyard. Planted in 1993, it is now one of the older blocks in Central Otago. Superbly situated in the midst of upper Gibbston, planted in carefully selected Burgundian clone Pinot Noir vines and meticulously tended. This is a thoughtfully crafted expression of our foundation site.

Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:

2010 will be noted as one of our most powerful and concentrated vintages on record. Flowering took place over reasonably unsettled weather in December, and because of this berry size was smaller and bunch weights lowered. The unsettled weather patterns change from late January, and our vintage finished with higher than usual temperature and long settled periods of dry, hot autumn days. The smaller berry size, lack of disease pressure and long length of ripening will ensure that this is a vintage that will stand Central Otago proud.

First Paddock Vineyard:

A very solid, dense vintage from Gibbston. 20% from our older vines went to this single vineyard wine, with the remainder going to the Two Paddocks label. We were very happy with the overall balance and expression of the grapes the season allowed us to pick.

Winemakers Notes:

Exotic wild flower, bramble and spice aromatics followed by a silky multi layered profile with hidden depth, texture and length.

Soils: Rich schist loam topsoil above boulder schist gravel.

Vines: Predominantly 20 year old Clone 5, own roots – with a smaller portion of 777 & 667 on 10-14. 3,400 vines per hectare.

Canopy Management:

VSP two cane, 4.0 Tonne per hectare, average bunch weight 80 grams. Picking date; 6th May 2010 at 23 Brix

Oenology: Hand picked and sorted in the vineyard. 50% 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 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.

pH  3.58 -- TA   6.0 g/l -- Alc  13%

Proprietor: Sam Neill

Viticulturist:  Mike Wing

Winemaker:  Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2011

Total Production: 200 doz

Cellaring: 2014 -- 2020

TP First Paddock PN 2010 USA numbered


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2016 Buyer's Guide Dec 2015

The 2010 (4.5*) was estate-grown at Gibbston and matured in French oak barrels (one-third new). Full-coloured, it is mouthfilling, sweet-fruited, savoury and supple, with strong cherry, dried-herb and spice flavours, finely integrated oak, and excellent complexity. 

Wine-Searcher, Rebecca Gibb Editor Jan 2014 Good, very, very goo

I could have shown off and said my wine of the year was the 1955 Domaine de Chevalier I had at a dinner with the estate's owners, but how many people would be able to get hold of that? 

Instead, I'm opting for a wine that surprised me at New Zealand's 2013 Pinot Noir Celebration: Two Paddock's 2010 First Paddock, owned by actor Sam Neill. It's not a wine that's made every year because it's produced from fruit in the Gibbston Valley, Central Otago's coolest subregion. Often, it's hard to ripen the pinot fully here, but when it's good, it's very, very good. This wine is a triumph – pure and fragrant, tight and elegant. Like your best knickers for a special occasion, it is both silky and delicate. The damson and especially black cherry aromas are quintessentially Central Otago. And it’s only 13 percent, which means you can potentially drink two glasses or more.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate #209 Oct 2013 93+ Points

Medium ruby-purple-colored, the 2010 First Paddock Pinot Noir reveals a simply gorgeous nose of violets, rose hips and wild thyme over a core of pomegranate and kirsch. Elegantly fruited on the medium bodied palate, this is a superb example of the very fine structure, balance and incredible intensity that this very special Gibbston vineyard can give, albeit only in a great vintages such as 2010. The finish is very long and harmonious. Drink this one now to 2018+.

Bob Campbell MW, BobsWineReviews Jul 2013 93 Points

Aromatic wine with appealing savoury, dried herb, red cherry, floral and subtle spice characters. Fine-boned and quite powerful Pinot Noir with purity and intensity. Sweet fruit is balanced by chalky tannins to give a drying finish. Quite a complex and distinctive wine that gives a nod in the direction of Burgundy.