Not for sale, please contact us for more information.

2015 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 cool spring in October and into November was followed by warm dry weather over December and a particularly hot and dry January.  Flowering was finished by the end of December.  Vigour was low and the vines were only green thinned and shoulders removed in the same pass.  Wide open bunches meant very little disease pressure was experienced and we started harvest on the 1st April 2015.

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.


Dark, brooding, spicy, dried herb aromatics with a lovely encompassing textural palate showing brightness, finesse and elegance on the long finish.


pH       3.57                             TA       6.6g/l                            Alc  12.5 %

Proprietor: Sam Neill        Viticulturist: Mike Wing            Winemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2016         Production: 280 x 6-packs       Cellaring: up to10 years

First Paddock Pinot Noir 2015


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2018 Buyer's Guide Dec 2017 4.5 Stars

The 2015 vintage (4.5*), estate-grown at Gibbston, was harvested from vines planted in 1993 and matured for 14 months in French oak barrels (30 per cent new). Ruby-hued, with a fragrant bouquet of herbs and spices, it is medium-bodied, with strong, vibrant cherry, spice, dried-herb and nut flavours, showing good complexity. A very youthful, 'feminine' style, with fresh acidity and obvious potential, it's best cellared to 2019+. Nick Stock Contributing Editor Nov 2017 93 Points

Plenty of structural emphasis here. This has an array of baking spices and wild herbs with wild cherry and red currant fruit aromas. The palate is firm and forthright with punchy acid drive as well as a web of bold tannins and vibrant red cherry fruit flavors. Finishes fresh and assertive.

Wine Spectator, Maryann Worobiec Aug 2017 91 Points

As tasted for Wine Spectator article "Upwardly Mobile"  31 Aug 2017

The Times UK, Jane MacQuitty Jun 2017 Glorious, rich

So tuck into the glorious, rich, sappy, leather and tobacco-leaf spiced 2015 First Paddock Pinot Noir.

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews Apr 2017 18.5 / 20

Full, moderately deep ruby-red colour with purple tints, lighter on the rim.  The nose is concentrated with deep, intense and well-packed aromas of dark-red cherry fruit harmoniously melded with an amalgam of fresh, dark and dried herbs, and savoury whole cluster stalk elements, unfolding piquant red floral perfumes.  This has power and aromatic depth.  Medium-bodied, the palate has sweet, vibrant and juicy flavours of dark-red cherry fruit integrated with savoury dark herbs and whole bunch stalk notes.  The fruit flavours form a well-concentrated core and is supported by balanced, fine-grained powdery tannin extraction, and enlivened by refreshing, lacy acidity.  The wine flows with vitality and linearity, leading to a lingering finish of red fruits and savoury herbs.  This is a densely packed, but elegant Pinot Noir with red cherry and savoury herb flavours on a vibrant, fine-grained palate.  Match with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 6-7+ years.  Clone 5 fruit from the first 25 rows, hand-picked and sorted, indigenous yeast fermented with 50% whole bunches to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 30% new French oak. 

Bob Campbell MW Wine Reviews Apr 2017 96 Points

Light in colour but not in flavour. Elegant wine showing lovely purity and ethereal texture. Delicate cherry and raspberry flavours with spicy oak and a suggestion of fresh herbs. Charming wine with underlying power. Very impressive.

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Mar 2017 96 Points

The bouquet is immensely seductive showing red berry, game, dried herb, almond and floral aromas, leading to an impressively focused and finely textured palate that is elegant yet powerful at the same time. The wine is wonderfully framed by loads of polished tannins, and the palate is linear throughout then expands to a glorious finish. The wine expresses the Gibbston district perfectly with its savoury, floral perfume, together with refined mouthfeel.  At its best: 2018 to 2025

Lisa Perrotti-Brown,Wine Advocate #228 Dec 2016 94+ Points

Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2015 First Paddock Pinot Noir has a compelling nose of red cherries, cranberries and red currants, plus underlying garrigue, earth, game and dried herb notes. Light to medium-bodied and displaying commendable finesse, the palate has a great intensity of complex, earthy/savory flavors with a solid structure and excellent length. Bravo!  Drink 2016-2024