Two Paddocks

Pinot Noir

The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2014 this wine was produced from three of the four Neill family central Otago vineyards. These small sites are high-density planted in a range of clonal material cropped to under 5 Tonne per hectare 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 indigenous fermentation and hand plunging. Maturation is in French barriques for 11 months, using a mix of older and new (25%) barrels.

Not for sale, please contact us for more information.

Vintage Comment:

A cool spring produced slow growth until November, which along with parts of December, was above average warmth. Flowering started in the first week of December and lasted over three weeks. All vines were green thinned and shoulders removed in the same pass.  Very little disease pressure and we started harvesting on the 31st March at The Fusilier (Felton Rd – Bannockburn) with the other estate vineyard sites all being picked in the first half of April.

Winemakers Notes:

Hand harvested, 75% de-stemmed and given 5-7 pre-fermentation cold maceration. After an indigenous ferment the wine is given another 5-7 days post ferment time on skins. Wine is then transferred to 1-4  (25% new oak) year old French medium toast barriques for a 11 month maturation, before racking and bottling. 

Estate Vineyard composition: 49% The Fusilier - Bannockburn, 33% The Red Bank – Earnscleugh (Alexandra), 18% The First Paddock – Gibbston.

Ripe red fruit, violet, spice and some blackcurrant brooding aromatics.  This wine shows a beautiful soft and rich palate with a lovely elegant drive and persistence.

pH  3.55 -- TA   6.2 g/l -- Alc  13.5%

Proprietor: Sam Neill

Viticulturist:  Mike Wing

Winemaker:  Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2015

Cellaring: 2015 – 2022

Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Sunday Mail, Olly Smith Star's Wine Mar 2017 Splash out on this P Read More

"If you're going to splash out on one Pinot this year, make it one of Sam's."  Olly Smith

JamesSuckling.com Dec 2016 95 Points Top 50 NZ Read More

The Top 50 New Zealand Wines of 2016 - There's a complex and more serious statement to this wine in terms of oak treatment with pretty clear mocha and spice influence. It's quite modern, opening up to red cherries, pomegranate and orange rind with a fresh array of sappy and leafy complexity below. The palate's slick, where really assertive tannins are nicely tamed and groomed into a linear, composed and powerful style. Plenty of red and dark cherries that head into plum territory as well. This has balance and impressive conviction. Best from 2019–2025+.  Nick Stock, Contributing Editor

Michael Cooper's Buyers Guide to New Zealand Wines Dec 2016 The 2014 vintage is Read More

The 2014 vintage is the best yet. Grown in the company's vineyards at Bannockburn (49 per cent), Alexandra (32 per cent) and Gibbston (19 per cent), and matured in French oak casks, it is deep ruby, very fragrant and supple. A generous, savoury, complex red, it is intensely varietial, with strong, ripe cherry, plum and dried-herb flavours, finely structured and age-worthy. Best drinking 2017+

Olly Smith, The Mail on Sunday Nov 2016 Wine of the Week Read More

Olly's Pick of the Bunch - Wine of the Week

Silky red conjured by actor and winemaker Sam Neill from a great Otago vintage is up there with the best Pinot.

Geoff Kelly Wine Reviews Jun 2016 18.5 Points Read More

Full pinot noir ruby, in the top quarter for depth. Decant this wine, to reveal a good volume of red grading to black cherry pinot noir. It needs three more years in bottle, to develop the best side of its bouquet. Palate is already promising, potentially vibrant quite dark red cherry fruit with an undertone of black cherries, oaking beautifully judged. Palate is nearly velvety, pure cherry flavours, remarkable. This will be a gold medal wine in two years, the score here is anticipatory.  Cellar 5 – 15  years.   

Wine Spectator, 31 May 2016 May 2016 91 Points Read More

New releases - New Zealand

Shows plenty of intensity and focus, with an appealing roasted savory overtone to the plush, ripe cherry and blackberry flavors.  Dried thyme, matcha tea and baking spice details emerge on the harmonious finish.  Drink now through 2026.

Decanter Magazine, Jan 2016 Jan 2016 95 Points / 18.5 / Read More

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 Dec 2015 95 Points Read More

Two Paddock's flagship label is made from a blend of grapes from the vineyards in Alexandra and Gibbston. It's a bright, dense pinot rippling with energy and featuring cherry, raspberry, raspberry, mineral, floral/violet and spicy oak flavours.

NB: Two Paddocks notes that the 2014 is the first vintage to include 50% The Fusilier, Bannockburn.

Yvonne Lorkin, NZ Herald 14 November 2015 Nov 2015 Smooth & Sexily frag Read More

Two Paddocks founder Sam Neill had some advice for prospective vineyard owners at the 2013 pinot noir conference: "Since you are approaching middle age, there are two inevitable things in your future. First, you will acquire a ride-on mower. Second you will have an enlarged prostate. The mower is more fun that the prostate, so make sure you buy a good one." His latest pinot is definitely more "boy band" than middle-aged though. Foppish in attitude, smooth and sexily fragrant with sweet, dried herbs and spicy notes and sinewy complexity on the finish; it's an eager-to-please star.

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews Nov 2015 18.5 Points Read More


Full, dark, deep ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues.  The nose is powerfully concentrated and intense with aromas of black berry and black cherry fruit entwined with a complex amalgam of reductive mineral elements, funky stalk and stem whole cluster nuances, violet florals and cassis hints.  Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly bound with vibrant and lively fruit flavours of black berries and black cherries, complexed by subtle whole cluster herb and stalk detail, cassis and violet florals.  The fruit is supported by very fine-grained tannin structure and the wine flows with good energy from ripe, integrated acidity.  This has excellent, firm linearity, unveiling complex reductive mineral notes as it carries to a very long, black cherry finish.  This is a tightly concentrated, sweet, black berry and cherry fruited Pinot Noir with subtle whole bunch and reductive complexities and a fine, grainy structure.  Match with lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-8 years.  Hand-picked fruit, 49% from ‘The Fusilier’ site, Bannockburn, 33% ‘Red Bank, Earnscleugh, Alexandra, and 18% ‘First Paddock’ Gibbston, given a cold soak and fermented with 25% whole clusters to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new French oak.  

Cameron Douglas MS, The Shout NZ August 2015 Aug 2015 Read More

With fruit from Bannockburn, Earnscleugh and Gibbston sites the bouquet has a plenty to offer with old rose, raspberry, red cherry, hints of plum and strawberry; baking spices, a touch of vanilla and mild toasty oak influences. On the palate – dry, savoury, fruity and textured; flavours of red cherry and brown spice, hints of old rose and mild toasty oak; medium+ acidity, fine tannins and longish finish; balanced, well made, approachable now and cellar worthy through 2017.

Bob Campbell MW Aug 2015 95 Points Read More

Bright, dense and flavoursome Pinot Noir with cherry, raspberry, mineral, floral, violet and spicy oak flavours. High energy wine with impressive purity and length. Should age well.