The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2019 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 46% whole bunch, indigenous fermentation and hand plunging. Maturation is in French barriques for 10 months, using a mix of older and new (18%) barrels.
Two Paddocks 2019 above average rainfall over the Winter and early Spring meant soil water remained at luxury levels for vines over the entire growing season. The Summer heat did accumulate though and shoots grew with ease without any destructive winds. Accurate leaf removal and crop thinning meant the vines had a balanced crop load and the fruit was very clean. A noticeable benefit was the lack of wind damaged shoots and leaves which really increases the vines ability to produce energy late into the season. Harvest began on the 3rd April at The Fusilier, Bannockburn and finished on the 26th April at The First Paddock, Gibbston.
Hand harvested, 54% 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 (18% new oak) year old French medium toast barriques for a 10-month maturation, before racking and bottling.
Estate Vineyard composition: 37% The Fusilier - Bannockburn, 7% - The Last Chance – Earnscleugh (Alexandra), 40% The Red Bank – Earnscleugh (Alexandra) and 16% The First Paddock – Gibbston.
Bramble, spice and wild herb aromatics sit gently on the nose, then lead to an elegant finely driven mouthfeel, showing poise, freshness and a lingering persistent finish.
pH 3.60 TA 5.7 g/l Alc 13.0 %
Proprietor: Sam Neill Viticulturist: Mike Wing Winemaker: Dean Shaw
Bottled: March 2020 Cellar: 2020 – 2027
|Award / Reviewer||Date||Rating||Review|
|Sam Kim, Wine Orbit||Nov 2021||95 points|
"Seductively complex and savoury, it’s beautifully lifted on the nose showing dark berry, cured meat, dried herb, leather and forest floor characters, combined with expansive mouthfeel and fine dusty tannins. Sophisticated and engaging with a persistent spicy finish. Certified organic. At its best: now to 2030. "
|JamesSuckling.com Nick Stock Contributing Editor||Nov 2021||94 points|
"Modern and toasty with some reductive edges to the ripe red cherries and blackberries. Big, spicy energy. Herbal notes, too. The palate has a fresh and tangy feel with a sappy, ripe and stony red-cherry and plum-stone texture. Intense. So fresh and juicy. Crisp tannins to close. Drink or hold. Screw cap."
|New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide||Oct 2021|
"Still unfolding, the 2019 vintage (4.5*) was estate-grown at Earnscleugh (47 per cent), Bannockburn (37 per cent) and Gibbston (16 per cent). Ruby hued, it is vibrantly fruity, with strong cherry, plum and spice flavours, slightly nutty, savoury notes adding complexity, fresh acidity and supple tannins. Best drinking 2023+. "