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2018 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir

About the wine

The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties.  In 2018 this wine was produced from 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 10 months, using a mix of older and new (20%) barrels. Vegan friendly.


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Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:
Two Paddocks 2018 harvest will be remembered as the earliest picking date on record. A warm spring that quickly turned in to a hot summer with much warmer night time temperatures than are typically experienced in Alexandra. Ideal conditions over flowering, which was a month early, began on the 20th November. Again, perfect growing conditions meant veraison also began a month early on the 20th January. The extreme heat and dry finished abruptly on the 1st February. Cooler temperatures over February / March thankfully slowed ripening down and intensified flavour development.  However, harvest still began nearly a month earlier than typical on the 14th March and was over by the 11th April. Both the grapes and stems were beautifully ripe, intensely flavoured and in perfect health.

Winemakers Notes:
Hand harvested, 75% de-stemmed and given a 7 day pre-fermentation cold maceration to extract colour and aroma.  After an indigenous fermentation, with a single plunging per day, the wine was given another 5 days post fermentation time on skins.  Wine is then transferred to 1-4 (20% new oak) year old French medium toast barriques for a 10-month maturation, before racking and bottling. 

Estate Vineyard composition: 27% The Fusilier - Bannockburn, 22% - The Last Chance – Earnscleugh (Alexandra), 29% The Red Bank – Earnscleugh (Alexandra) and 22% The First Paddock – Gibbston.

This wine shows black currant, ripe red plum fruit and spicy aromatics following through to a rich plush but elegantly textured mouthfeel with great density, persistence and poise.


pH 3.60                                         TA   5.9 g/l                      Alc  13.0 %

Proprietor: Sam Neill                     Viticulturist: Mike Wing       Winemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled:  February 2019                     Cellar: 2019 – 2026

Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2018 resized



Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
2021 Vinous Media - Rebecca Gibb MW Dec 2020 92 points

Drinking Window: 2021 - 2028

A deeply relaxing wine with seamless texture and melted-butter-like tannins.  You could do a 20 minute meditation session or have a glass of this; the result will be the same.

The palate is layered, with violets and thyme offering the top line, damson fruit in the midpalate and oak-derived cedar and spice lending a savory, baritone note.  There's gentle tension providing enough line.  

A blend from vineyards from three sub-regions of Central Otago.  It's very complete and can be approached now.  A real triumph in a year that threw a spanner in the works with a season that ran a full month earlier than the norm.

Burghound.Com USA, Allen Meadows, 80th Issue, 2020 Oct 2020 90 points

Two Paddocks 2018 Pinot Noir: (Central Otago, 25% whole cluster, SRP $56, 13%)

A mentholated top note is present on the high-toned and admirably pure essence of red pinot fruit with hints of clove, violet and sandalwood. The restrained and vibrant middle weight flavors possess a supple, indeed even caressing mid-palate before concluding in a dusty and youthfully austere finish. This very pretty effort will need a few years to further flesh out as it’s quite tightly wound today. 90/2024+

Wine Enthusiast - Editors’ Choice May 2020 94 Points

Two Paddocks Estate Pinot Noir 2018  – 94 points (Editors’ Choice)
“This is a beautifully approachable yet complex wine from this boutique, biodynamically farmed estate, owned by actor Sam Neill with a talented winemaking and viticulture team spearheaded by Dean Shaw and Mike Wing, respectively. The nose conjures images of cherry pie cooling on a windowsill, a rosebush blooming from the sun-warmed soil beneath. Savory, sappy tannins wind around silky, high-toned fruit in the mouth. A tightrope walk of balance of power and elegance with crunchy acidity to break the fall.”

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Dec 2019 94 points

Gorgeously fruited and inviting, the bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, fragrant spice and vanillin oak characters, leading to a beautifully rounded palate that’s succulent and fleshy. It’s wonderfully harmonious and textured with a lengthy silky finish. At its best: now to 2026. $55.00. Dec 2019. Nick Stock Contributing Editor Oct 2019 93 Points

An impressively complex nose here with a very fresh and juicy, red-cherry and berry nose that offers such alluring style. The palate has a succulent and juicy feel with a plush, toasted-spice and ripe, red-cherry core. Made from organically grown grapes. Firmish finish. Try from 2021. Screw cap.