The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2017 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.
After a very mild winter the soil temperature at the beginning of Spring was warmer than usual resulting in a solid growth start with reasonable bud burst conditions. The fruit set (bunch formation) was in the first week of December and was relatively consistent. This set up a reasonable and balanced crop load across the vineyard blocks. After this period ‘The Wind’ started and was relentless until the start of March, when thankfully the more typical warm and dry late summer weather patterns of Central Otago were experienced until harvest in April.
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: 38% The Fusilier - Bannockburn, 29% - The Last Chance – Earnscleugh (Alexandra), 29% The Red Bank – Earnscleugh (Alexandra) and 4% The First Paddock – Gibbston.
Scotch thistle, redcurrant spice and aromatic highland herbal and spice aromas on the nose, gives way to an intriguing textural, flowing palate. This wine shows great strength intertwined with elegance, depth and poise.
pH 3.56 TA 6.0 g/l Alc 12.5 %
Proprietor: Sam Neill Viticulturist: Mike Wing Winemaker: Dean Shaw
Bottled: February 2018 Cellar: 2018 – 2026
|Award / Reviewer||Date||Rating||Review|
|JamesSuckling.com Nick Stock Contributing Editor||Oct 2018||93 Points|
Produced from the Bannockburn, Earnscleugh and Gibbston sub-regions, this has a gently tarry, reductive edge to the nose with a sappy array of red and black-cherry aromas, as well as nicely placed baking spices and wild herbs. Fine and agile palate. This is elegant with plenty of fresh flavor. Decanting recommended. Drink now.
|Sam Kim, Wine Orbit July Tasting 2018||Sep 2018||95 Points|
Beautifully proportioned and seductively engaging, the wine shows lifted aromas of red/black cherry, olive, floral and warm spice characters with subtle toasted nut complexity. The palate exhibits succulent fruit intensity together with mouthfilling texture, wonderfully complemented by savoury nuances and polished tannins, finishing persistent and silky. Splendidly styled and promises to evolve magnificently. At its best: 2019 to 2027.