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2014 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir

About the wine

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.

Tasting Notes

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

Two Paddocks PN 2014

Reviews

Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
The Edge Financial Daily, Bloomberg Aug 2017 Fifteen great Pinot

Most celebrities make pretty ordinary wines. Jurassic Park star Sam Neill, owner of this New Zealand winery in Central Otago, is a major exception. His flagship wine, a blend of four organic vineyards, is full and savoury, with intense fruit flavours.

Bloomberg, Elin McCoy Aug 2017 Top 15 pinots under

Ambitious Winemakers, Climate Change Makes For Good, Cheap Pinot

 Bloomberg:  August 21, 2017

Great pinot noirs, as a friend once put it, have a near-sexual allure. The first taste can turn you into a bottle stalker, which is why the world’s pinot lust has pushed prices of the most coveted to three- and four-digits. Today, though, it’s easier than ever to find seductive examples with those rose-petal aromas, silky textures, and layered flavors at more affordable prices.  

In Burgundy, still the grape’s ur-territory, global warming has (mostly) ensured riper grapes every year. That, along with better vineyard practices and young ambitious winemakers has upped the quality of non-snob generic Bourgogne Rouge and little-known village appellations like Santenay. 

The biggest change in pinot during the past decade, though, is the rise of New Zealand, Oregon, and California, as winemakers finally zeroed in on the vine’s sweet spots. Pinot is tricky to grow, and subtle shifts in temperature and soil make the difference. In California, pinot is now the state’s third most planted grape: 44,000 acres-worth, nearly double the amount ten years ago. The hottest success stories are in coolest areas, like the Sonoma Coast, Mendocino, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Barbara. Even their regional blends now have a balance and elegance California pinots rarely showed in the past.

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has grown warmer, too, giving its wines more ripe lushness. The state is booming with deep-pocketed vineyard investors that include a raft of top Burgundy producers. And half a dozen districts in New Zealand now regularly turn out intense pinots with exotic red fruit and herb flavors. 

 Expect more bargains in the future. For now, here are my top 15 pinots under $50.

$40 to $50

2014 Kelley Fox Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir This boutique Oregon producer sources grapes from top vineyards for her pinots. This one has the kind of power and mineral elegance you find in one from Burgundy’s Nuits St. Georges.

2014 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir   Most celebrities make pretty ordinary wines. Jurassic Park star Sam Neill, owner of this New Zealand winery in Central Otago, is a major exception. His flagship wine, a blend of four organic vineyards, is full and savory, with intense fruit flavors. 

2014 Domaine de la Cote Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir You’ll see this pinot, a partnership of sommelier Raj Parr and famed winemaker Sashi Moorman, on a lot of Manhattan wine lists. It’s light and graceful, reflecting the winery’s house style and its cool microclimate in the Santa Rita Hills. 

2014 Flowers Winery Pinot Noir Steep, twisting roads lead to this winery 1,500 feet above sea level on the Sonoma coast. Cool winds off the Pacific preserve the bright acidity while the warm 2014 growing season gave this wine a taste of rich, dark cherries and a lush texture.  

2014 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Well-known Burgundy negociant Maison Joseph Drouhin was the first French producer to buy vineyard land in Oregon, and 2017 is the winery’s 30th anniversary. Its basic pinot, from a fine, exuberant vintage, is a heady mix of ripe fruit and savory cherry notes. 

$30 to $40

2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Intense flower and spice aromas, and fresh, crunchy fruit are the hallmarks of the pinots from young, talented Justin Willett. His entry-level blend is a good introduction to the brilliant style of his much more expensive single vineyard pinots.

2015 Sarah’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir Pinot noir is this winery’s claim to fame, and this one, with lush dark fruit, comes from its appellation series, which highlights top districts for growing the grape. Santa Lucia Highlands is close to cold Monterey Bay. 

2014 Burn Cottage Cashburn  Sonoma winemaker Ted Lemon, of Littorai fame, directs the vineyards and winemaking at this biodynamic estate in New Zealand’s Central Otago. The juicy, sensual, light-bodied Cashburn is the winery’s second, cheaper label.  

2014 Carpe Diem Pinot Noir Anderson Valley  Not far from the Mendocino coast, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley has gained a reputation for bright, exciting pinots. The cool climate is the reason for this wine’s vivid black cherry flavors and intense rose petal and spice aromas. 

2014 Maison L’Envoye Two Messengers  This U.S. negociant project, which debuted in 2011, now has footprints in Burgundy, Oregon, and Tasmania. This smooth, mineral-accented, spicy pinot comes from several vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. 

$20 to $30

2015 Domaine Alain Hudelot-Noellat Bourgogne Rouge  Rock-star winemaker Charles Van Canneyt makes one of the best examples of generic red Burgundy around, especially in this top vintage. Its bright, pure, ripe cherries flavor and sensual texture remind me of a Chambolle Musigny.

2015 Domaine Marc Colin Santenay Rouge Les Champs Claude Vieilles Vignes  Few producers make vibrant, silky-textured reds like this one. The grapes come from 100-year-old vines right next to a premier cru vineyard. 

2015 Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir  Yes, Argentina is still malbec country, but Tuscan winemaker Piero Incisa della Rocchetta (whose grandfather founded Italy’s great Sassicaia), discovered abandoned pinot vines in cool Rio Negro, Patagonia. He now makes several stellar pinots, including his pure, graceful, entry-level Barda. 

2014 Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Bourgogne Pinot Noir The pinot vines for this superb wine are, surprisingly, in Beaujolais, where gamay is the reigning grape. Iconic winemaker Jean-Paul Brun’s only pinot is a juicy, tangy wine with the depth and complexity of many reds in the Côte d’Or. 

2014 Montinore Red Cap Pinot Noir A surprisingly satisfying pinot for the price, this Oregon bargain is made from 100 percent certified biodynamic grapes. It’s a drink-me-now version of the state’s bright, fresh, red berry and spice style.  

To contact the author of this story: Elin McCoy in New York at elinmccoy@gmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Gaddy at jgaddy@bloomberg.net.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

Sunday Mail, Olly Smith Star's Wine Mar 2017 Splash out on this P

"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

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

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

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

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

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 /

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

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

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

 

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

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

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.