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2017 The Fusilier Pinot Noir

About the wine

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four small vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realize that one of these sites 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 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 western end of Felton Rd and bordered by the vineyard of the same name. 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.

Tasting Notes

Fusilier Pinot Noir 2017 resized



Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
NZ Organic Wine Awards Jan 2023

The NZ Organic Library Stock Wine Awards (Vintage wine awards) were launched in 2018 as a proof of concept, to both discover without doubt how certain wines are ageing, and to then promote the  cellaring potential of these wines to consumers.  

2022 Library Stock Wine Awards 2016 & 2017 vintages

Wine Enthusiast - Cellar Selection May 2020 93 points

TWO PADDOCKS The Fusilier 2017 – 93 points (Cellar Selection)
“This vintage of proprietor Sam Neill’s premium organically farmed Pinot is, for the moment, young and reductive, a sturdier wine that we’ve seen, but one that should reward time in the cellar. Rather than the broody, oniony aromas associated with reduction, this version emphasizes the wine’s vegetal and herbal characters: green bell pepper in a sea of freshly plucked, earthy herbs, brambly berries and wildflowers. Streaks of minerals appear as the wine opens. Taut, spicy, chalky tannins grip the tongue, but a river of juicy fruit washes it away, ready for the next sip.”

Gourmet Traveller Wine by Bob Campbell May 2020 95 points

Restrained, taut pinot with cherry, violet, mineral, stems, spice and nutty oak flavours. Firmly structured wine with bright acidity and a backbone of fine tannins. A high-energy wine that promises to age well.

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Jan 2020 96 points

This is deeply scented and engaging on the nose showing dark berry, smoked game, truffle, thyme and floral aromas, followed by a superbly concentrated palate that's plush and persistent. It's generous yet elegant and harmonious with multi-layered mouthfeel, finishing impressively long and expansive. From their Bannockburn Vineyard. At its best: now to 2030. Certified organic. $85.00. Jan 2020.

Peter Bourne / Qantas Inflight Magazine Oct 2019 Skilfully crafted

Actor Sam Neill needs no introduction but his film-star status only adds to the acclaim of his Two Paddocks wines, which are skilfully crafted by Dean Shaw.

The Fusilier comes from Neill's Bannockburn vineyard, with juicy red and black fruits at its heart and a taut framework of lithe, well-focused tannins.

Perfect with lamb cutlets and redcurrant jelly.

Huon Hooke Jan 2019 97 points

Deep red colour with a good purple tint; the bouquet powerful with lots of stemmy whole-bunch character (they use up to 50% for the single vineyard wines). The palate is very deep and fleshy, strongly constructed, plush-textured and powerful. A very striking pinot noir. Nick Stock Contributing Editor Oct 2018 96 Points

Very complex, complete and convincing Bannockburn pinot that delivers a fascinating array of pure red cherries, sappy and spicy complexity and a beautifully arranged palate that has long, fleshy and silky fruit presence. Exceptional pinot. Drink now.