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2001 Neill Pinot Noir

About the wine

Foundation Wine

"New Zealand Flax. 'Karadi' stick fights as kids -- lessons for life."


Tasting Notes

The wine has an intense sweet black cherry, violet, thyme and chargrilled pepper on the nose. The palate has a rich warm and rounded feel, with blackberry, thyme, peppery mineral and earthy flavours. Finely textured, it has an elegant and seductive finish.

Vintage and Harvest Notes

The season began with a very early spring budburst. (Alex Paddock around the 17th of September and One Paddock Gibbston around the 2nd of October). This was followed by a cool period during fruit set, which had a greater influence on the Gibbston fruitset. A much higher than average rainfall through the early summer period took a turn for the better in mid-January with a welcome resumption of our traditional hot, dry summer. The season finished perfectly, with an Indian Autumn the likes of which we haven't seen for many years.


Alex Paddock: 15-17 April Gibbston Paddock: 30 April - May 10


We blended our first crop of Pinot Noir grapes from Alex Paddocks with Gibbston grapes to bring elegance and finesse to this Gibbston Pinot. The fruit was selectively hand-picked combining 20% of grapes from Alex Paddock with 80% from Gibbston. Using all natural yeast, Winemaker Dean Shaw allowed the grapes to ferment for 23 to 30 days, hand-plunging the cap three times daily. Peak fermentation temperature reached 33° C. The wine spent 10 months in French oak barrels, 20% of which were new, to allow the flavours and aromas to come into balance with the tannins and bring notes of toast, spice and lightly charred aromas to the wine. After barrel aging, the wine was bottled without fining, using light to medium filtration.

Vineyard: Stephen and Jim Moffitt. Winemaker: Dean Shaw.

Availability: Sold out

2001 cherries wine sm


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
The (London) Sunday Times, Style Section Oct 2003 Seductive cherry

By Joanna Simon

Seductive cherry, plum and rose-scented wine from the actor Sam Neill's vineyards. 

Jancis Robinson Sep 2003 Exciting - Wine of t

Wine of the Week: Two Paddocks 2001 Neill Pinot Noir Central Otago

Exciting...I liked the wine because it has what strikes me as true Pinot flavours (no jam, no cough medicine, no beetroot). It's delicate rather than light with only the lightest vegetal note and real grace. To be drunk now rather than cellared, I think - even chilled as a late summer/early spring drink (depending on your hemisphere and local weather).


The Observer Magazine, Tim Atkins Sep 2003 Complex

 After two rather disappointing vintages, actor Sam Neill's Kiwi Pinot Noir found its mark in 2001, delivering a complex, savoury, beguiling red with soft tannins, gamey fruit flavours, sweet oak and a hum of acidity.

[Proprietor's Note: We don't know what Tim could mean by the disappointing previous vintages, but he's spot on about the 2001!]  


The Press, Danny Schuster Aug 2003 Elegant

Well coloured, complex/aromatic bouquet of ripe red berry fruits with hints of gamey spice and toasty oak. Elegant structure with rich texture of flavour, fine grain tannins, and impressive length. A top example of Otago's vibrant fruit and freshness of style, it has finesse rather than raw power. I liked it a lot - should make great bottles in two to three years.


The New Zealand Listener, Keith Stewart Jul 2003 Sex in a glass

SEX IN A GLASS -- Smells alluring, slightly racy and earthy but lush with fruit, and it tastes similar, with a slightly feral wildness laced with cherries and dabs of beetroot, a splash of spice: tasty and bright. Certainly virile, with a warm, almost cuddly tone, but is it sexy? Absolutely, if only for its silky texture, which makes your voice go husky when its mingled with such earthy flavour tones. What happens next is up to you.    PRICE : $42., AVAILABLE: momentarily


Otago Daily Times, Charmian Smith Jul 2003

From Sam Neill's vineyards at Gibbston and Alexandra, shows just how delicious and charming good Central Otago pinot noir can be with that extra year's bottle age. Sam Neill plans to release his wines when they are ready to drink, according to marketing manager Ruth Elliott. This is powerful and harmonious with layers of flavours - velvety sweet fruit, spicy oak, smoky, gamey, savoury overtones and an attractive, crisp texture. Although it's delicious now, it will develop further over the next year or two.

Hawkes Bay Today, Graeme Barrow May 2003 Silky and seamless

Central Otago wine with a bouquet which is fragrant and spicy with suggestions of straw. Silky and seamless on the palate, with cherry and berry flavours light oak and very light tannine. Tasty, easy drinking wine for now and the next few years.

News of the World, Jilly Gooldsen Apr 2003 Brilliant stuff

Sam started out making wine for his family -- now his Pinot Noir red as taken off. Popular both Down Under and in the US.

Jilly's verdict: This is a rich man's folly. Brilliant stuff, I absolutely love it. It's got a gorgeous nose, a piercing berry fruit with a little simmering compost. A bouncy, jazzy wine, with a touch of vibrancy to it. It's understated -- Sam's name doesn't even appear on the label.