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2010 The Last Chance Pinot Noir

About the wine

The Last Chance is a beautifully sited small terrace perched in bright clear air above the Earnscleugh Valley, carefully planted with well-tended Burgundian clone Pinot Noir. It nestles amongst a small cluster of the world’s most southerly vineyards and takes its name from the watercourse that runs through its heart, hand dug by goldminers in the 1860s, The Last Chance.



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.

Last Chance Vineyard: 

With the vineyard in much better health and balance than ever before, the fruit was picked at optimum physiological ripeness that allowed the production of a single vineyard wine. A great thrill for all, as there had been no single vineyard wine from Last Chance vineyard since 2004.

Winemakers Notes:

Dark blackcurrant, brooding dark spicy mysterious and sensual fruit aromatics with a warm textural palate, lots of complexity and interest and a soft elegant flowing persistent finish.

Soil:   Raw schist gravels

Vines: 115 and 5 on various rootstock, 3500 vines per hectare.

Canopy management: VSP two cane, 4 Tonne per hectare, 80g bunches.

Oenology: Hand picked and sorted in the vineyard. One-third 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 light 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  3.48 -- TA   6.3 g/l -- Alc  14%

Proprietor: Sam Neill

Viticulturist:  Mike Wing

Winemaker:  Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2011

Total Production: 150 doz

Cellaring: 2014 -- 2020

TP Last Chance PN 2010


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Cameron Douglas, MS Feb 2018 94 Points

With 20% whole bunch fruit used and 20% new french oak used this wine has a serious aromatic and palate engagement; dark red berry fruits layered between youthful fine tannins and vibrant acid line this wine is delicious

Michael Cooper, New Zealand Listener May 2014 5 Stars

From Sam Neill's vineyard high above the Earnscleugh Valley, this classy wine is likely to be long-lived. Mouth-filling and fleshy, it has a foundation of firm ripe tannins and excellent concentration of cherry, plum and spice flavours.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate #209 Oct 2013 91+ Points

Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2010 Last Chance Pinot Noir is scented of mulberries, black raspberries and Provencal herbs with touches of underbrush and tar. Medium to full-bodied, it is generously fruited in the mouth with a solid structure of medium level grainy tannins and balanced acidity, finishing long. Drink it now to 2017+.

Bob Campbell MW, BobsWineReviews Jul 2013 Gold 94 Points

Dense, powerful Pinot Noir with an almost chewy texture and impressive flavour depth. Dark cherry, violets, Oriental spices, baked earth and mineral characters. The wine opened up as it sat in the glass - definitely worth decanting for at least 30 minutes. Tantalisingly complex and brooding wine with great cellaring potential.

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews Jan 2013 19 Points

Clone 115 and 5 fruit from the "The Last Chance" vineyard, Earnscleugh, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with one-third whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in one-third new French oak barriques. Full, deep, dark ruby-red with purple hues. The nose is vey finely presented with tight and concentrated aromas of black cherry fruit revealing layers of lifted violetty florals, spicy, charry oak and black plums. Medium-full bodied, concentrated black fruits and aromatic floral and spice flavours ate complexed by char and whole bunch dried herb nuances, forming an intense and elegantly proportioned palate. The flavours are supported by very fine-grained, tannins and lacy acidity, providing vibrancy, poise and tension. The flavours follow a very fine line to a very long and sustained finish with refined textures and sweet black cherry fruit. This is an elegant, black-fruited Pinot Noir with refined structure, energy and finesse. Match with roasted beef or lamb, or serve with harder cheeses over the next 6-9 years. 150 dozen made.