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2013 The First Paddock Pinot Noir

About the wine

Proprietor's Reserve

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our three small Vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realize that one of these may have something extraordinary to say in its own right. It is only then that we will make one of these very rare single vineyard wines.” Sam Neill, Proprietor

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:

A good start to the season with healthy well balanced canes being laid on all three vineyard blocks with appropriate bud numbers, but growing then got off to a slow start with cooler than normal temperatures in late spring. The resulting bunches from the cooler spring were of average size but made up of very small berries, which regardless of clone and rootstock ripened at much the same time after a very warm and dry autumn. March was the warmest March we have on record. Additionally there was not the normal large diurnal shift this autumn tending much more to range between 5 degrees over night to 25 degrees during the day. This seemed to be the catalyst for lovely even ripening and carried on until harvest in mid April – early May.

Winemakers Notes:

Sourced from the first twenty-five rows of Clone 5, which was planted in Gibbston at The First Paddock vineyard in 1993. Hand harvested and sorted then a 50% whole bunch indigenous ferment in a dedicated First Paddock French oak cuve. Matured in 30% new French oak with the balance in older wood for an extended 14 months of barrel maturation.

Bramble, underbrush, black fruit and spicy aromatics, followed by a mineral infused palate. Ethereal in nature with great mid palate density and drive.

pH  3.57 -- TA   6.6 g/l -- Alc  13%

Proprietor: Sam Neill

Viticulturist:  Mike Wing

Winemaker:  Dean Shaw

Bottled: 24 July 2014

Total Production: 220 x 6-packs

Cellaring: up to 10 years

First Paddock Pinot Noir 2013


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Michael Cooper's Buyers Guide to New Zealand Wines Dec 2016

The 2013 vintage was estate-grown at Gibbston and matured in French oak barrels. Ruby-hued, with moderately youthful colour, it has an invitingly fragrant bouquet of herbs and spices. A true expression of the Gibbston Valley sub-region, it has an array of plum, spice and herb flavours, seasoned with nutty oak, fine-grained tannins and good complexity. Drink now or cellar

Jancis Robinson MW, The Financial Times Oct 2016 16.5 Points

From Sam Neill's original little 4.6 ha plot in Gibbston. Planted in 1993 and their highest site, at 800 ft. Savoury with dried herbs on the nose. Sinewy texture - not as easy and fruity and friendly as some of the Two Paddocks wines. Marked acidity with a dry finish. No hurry to drink this.

Gourmet Traveller Wine Aug/Sep 2015 Sep 2015 93 Points

100 Top New Releases

Dry, savoury and Burgundian-style pinot with red cherry, violet, fresh herb and spicy oak flavours. There is a hint of tobacco and new leather adding complexity. A wine with cellaring potential.

James, Nick Stock – Contributing Edit May 2015 95 - 96 Points

This shows some of the greener, more vegetal stemmy and sappy edges that the Gibbston Valley can deliver, and there’s a neat spicy layer too. The palate’s juicy, bright, even and supple and shows a lot of promise once it settles in and fills out.

Cameron Douglas MS, The Shout NZ March 2015 Mar 2015

Bright, fresh and youthful red fruits bouquet alongside florals and a gentle spice with savoury complexity. On the palate – dry, fruity, savoury and earthy with a distinctive minerality all sewn together with oak of medium+ flavour and influence. Medium+ fine(ish) tannins and acidity; balanced and well made.