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2018 The Last Chance 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 Last Chance is a beautifully sited two-hectare 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 gold miners in the 1860s, The Last Chance.

Soils are raw schist gravels that are low in fertility and require careful nurturing.


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Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:

Two Paddocks 2018 harvest will be remembered as the earliest picking date on record. A warm spring that quickly turned in to a hot summer with much warmer night time temperatures than are typically experienced in Alexandra. Ideal conditions over flowering, which was a month early, began on the 20th November. Again, perfect growing conditions meant veraison also began a month early on the 20th January and then the extreme heat and dry finished abruptly on the 1st February. Cooler temperatures over February / March thankfully slowed ripening down and intensified flavour development, but harvest still began nearly a month earlier than typical on the 14th March and was over by the 11th April. Both the grapes and stems were beautifully ripe, intensely flavoured and in perfect health. 

“Both the grapes and stems were beautifully ripe, intensely flavoured and in perfect health.”

Mike Wing, Two Paddocks Viticulturist (Since 2009)

 Winemakers Notes:

Hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard. 65% 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 and light toast French barriques for 11 months maturation. 25% new wood and the balance in second and third fill barrels. Light filtration prior to bottling.

Clonal ratio: 76% 115, 12% 5, 8% 6 and 4% 114.

 Winemaker Tasting Note:

Dark black currant, spice and wild thyme aromatics lead to an elegant supple wine showing gorgeous minerality drive and poise.  This wine shows a great sense of site.

Dean Shaw, Two Paddocks Winemaker (Since 1999)


pH  3.55                                   TA   6.20 g/L                               Alc  13.0%

Proprietor: Sam Neill                Viticulturist: Mike Wing   

Winemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2019                  Total Production: 2658 bottles    

Cellaring: Up to 12 years


To print tasting notes click here

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Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Aotearoa NZ Organic Wine Awards 2022 May 2022 Silver
The NZ organic wine awards are New Zealand's only wine show dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines. The awards were founded in 2014 and continue to grow each year. Nick Stock Contributing Editor Dec 2020 96 points

“This is on a prime trajectory, following on from the last two, excellent vintages. This ripe 2018 has such composure and polish. Spicy red and dark cherries and crushed red flowers, spices and attractively sappy notes here, leading to a seamless palate that offers layers of pastry-fine tannin and succulent, rich fruit. Very vibrant red cherries hold so long and fresh. From organically grown grapes.”