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2012 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir

About the wine

Premium Pinot Noir

Two Paddocks flagship Pinot Noir - an estate grown, barrel selection from the three small Neill family vineyards in Central Otago. These vineyards are high-density planted in a range of clonal material and intensively "man-handled" with most vineyard practices carried out by hand. As in the vineyard, the wine is hand crafted using traditional methods including a 25% whole bunch wild fermentation and hand plunging. It is then matured in French barriques for 11 months, using a mix of older and new (25%) barrels.



Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:

A year of highs and lows in the vineyards – beginning well with strong even bud burst and then a very site specific frost in Gibbston destroyed most of the First Paddock vineyard. Somewhat ironically, Central Otago then had a wonderful summer – even Christmas day was in the low 30’s. A generally warmer year than 2011, the fruit displayed ripe, berry fruit flavours, gentle acidities and well behaved pH levels. Ideal December flowering conditions in the other two vineyards (Red Bank and Alex Paddocks) resulted in well formed medium sized bunches at desired low cropping rates. A relatively long cool autumn ripening period produced low sugar levels and wine based on mineral complexity with subtle fruit characteristics.

Winemakers Notes:

In 2012, this wine was 100% Alexandra fruit from the Redbank and Alex Paddocks sites. Again, each block and clone was picked and fermented separately, with the final blending taking place prior to bottling.

Redcurrant, spice and wild black exotic fruit aromatics followed by a strongly driven wine showing great texture and elegance.

pH  3.61 -- TA   5.9 g/l -- Alc  13%

Proprietor: Sam Neill

Viticulturist:  Mike Wing

Winemaker:  Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2013

Total Production: 850 cases

Cellaring: 2014 – 2019

Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2012


Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Cameron Douglas MS, Decanter Magazine Dec 2015 Nov 2015 95 Points

Complex, intense and complete - a bouquet with personality boasting layers of light red fruits laced with spice and minerals. Fabulous palate, textured, ripe, finely tuned tannins and a lengthy finish.

Bob Campbell MW, Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Jan 2015 96 Points

100 Top New Release Wines

Attractive pinot noir from two Paddock’s own Earnscleugh vineyards with taut, restrained and linear red cherry, mineral and floral flavours. The wine has power but delivers it with subtlety. Terrific cellaring potential.


Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate #216 Dec 2014 91 Points

Pale to med ruby-purple in color, the 2012 Pinot Noir offers a beautiful nose of bright red cherries, crushed raspberries and lavender with hints of black pepper, fennel seed and damp earth. Light to medium-bodied with a good core of red berry and cherry in the mouth complimented by herbal accents and silky tannins, it finishes long with plenty of layers.

Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2015 Buyer's Guide Dec 2014

Frost decimated the company's vineyard at Gibbston, so the 2012 vintage (4*) is entirely from its two sites at Earnscleugh, in the Alexandra Basin. Ruby-hued, it is silky-textured, with an array of cherry, plum, spice and nut flavours, gentle tannins and good complexity. Drink now or cellar.

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews Jun 2014 18 Points

Lighter purple-red colour, youthful in appearance. The nose is tight and brash, still needing time to come together, with fresh, herbal-nuanced red berry fruits, oak toast and a touch of reduction. Clearly with the componentry to show good things. Elegant and tightly bound on palate, the tannin grip and acid bite still apparent, but there is bright and sweet redberry fruit with clarity alongside some oak chariness. This has similar complexing detail and quality oak as in the single vineyard ‘Last Chance’ Pinot Noir. Give it another year to be delicious. 



Tyson Stelzer Jun 2014 94 Points

Poised for a decade-long future, Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks has refined a good deal in recent years, arriving at a happy place of lifted allure of tangy, bright red berry/cherry fruits, long-lingering presence and impressive scaffolding of fine, firm tannins. Drink: 2017-2022



Huon Hooke May 2014 92 Points

Medium to full red colour with a purple rim; the bouquet dominated by smoky sulfidic toasted-barrel characters. Attractive red cherry fruit beneath. An elegant medium-wieght pinot of refinement and length. Delicious wine, it’s not simple but is youthful and fresh. It’s not a try-hard, but as subtlety and length. Very good fruit, charm and drinkability.