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2005 Picnic Pinot Noir

About the wine

Picnic Wine

  The label shows the proprietor's grandparents picnicking at Karitane Beach, Otago circa 1919. The jovial chap with a pipe is Sidney Neill, importer of French wines, among other things. The poor little blighter in the Toulouse-Latrec tie is Dermot Neill, then aged 4 years. Also in the foreground is Gwladys Neill, formidable matriarch and avid picnicker. In the background and weighing 20 lbs Gertrude Elworthy (nee Neill), the proprietor's esteemed aunt.

Tasting Notes

This wine is made from a blend of fruit from Marlborough and the various subregions of Central Otago.

Fruit driven with subtle hints of spice and forest floor characteristics, this is a youthful but elegant Pinot Noir made to be enjoyed young!

Viticulturalist: Richard Flatman

Winemaker: Dean Shaw

Available: October 2006

Drink: 2006 - 2009

Export: Australia; Canada; USA

picnic pinot 05


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Wine Access, Steve Tanzer Jul 2007 88 Points

Good medium red. Raspberry, strawberry and woodsmoke on the nose. Sweet, supple and mellow, with herb-tinged berry flavors. Finishes with good sappy lift. The wine's soft tannins won't get in the way of enjoying this gently styled pinot right now. In fact, I'd drink this less expensive release now and give the regular estate blend a year or two of bottle aging.

Geoff Kelly Wine Reviews Apr 2007 17 Points

Ruby, minutely deeper than the 2004 Last Chance. Bouquet is sweetly floral, in a buddleia style, with mixed red and black cherry fruit, seemingly more alcohol than the given 13%. Palate is softer, riper, less oaked and more easy-going than the more serious wine, but with lovely pinot flavours bespeaking a riper year than the 2004 examples. It is almost as if there were 3 g/L residual sugar to soften it. This is attractive ‘picnic’ pinot. Cellar 3 – 6 years.

Otago Daily Times, Charmian Smith Feb 2007 Lively wine

I always enjoy this simple, easy drinking wine from Sam Neill's vineyards. Compared with the more complex, minerally elegance of The Last Chance Pinot Noir (3 1/2 stars), the Picnic is a lively wine that dances on the tongue and has an intriguing spicy, slightly gamy character with an underlying edginess.


Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wine Jan 2007

A drink young style, the 2005 vintage (3 stars), is blend of Marlborough and Central Otago grapes. Its a full coloured wine, flavoursome and supple, with plummy, herbal, spicy characters, and enough tannin to be interesting. A "pretty" wine with some substance that's ready to roll.