NZ Organic Wine Awards: 'Sustainable Vineyard of the Year 2024' plus 2 Gold and 2 Silver Medals. Full details

The First Paddock Pinot Noir - 2016

About the wine

Proprietor's Reserve

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our three small Vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realize that one of these may have something extraordinary to say in its own right. It is only then that we will make one of these very rare single vineyard wines.” Sam Neill, Proprietor

The First Paddock is our original much loved Two Paddocks vineyard. Planted in 1993, it is now one of the older blocks in Central Otago. Superbly situated in the midst of upper Gibbston, planted in carefully selected Burgundian clone pinot noir vines and meticulously tended. This is a thoughtfully crafted expression of our foundation site.

Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:

The Two Paddocks 2016 harvest began on the 5th of April 2016. Overall very clean and balanced fruit was achieved from ripening under extended settled warm autumn conditions. After a cool start to the growing season with 18 frost events in 6 weeks, the heat really only arrived after flowering in late December. Rainfall for the entire 8-month growing season of Sept-Apr was low with only 160mm received in total. February was the start of the 'big finish', which saw an average temp of 19C for the month. This flowed into March, April and May, which were all warm, settled and dry. Vintage was extraordinarily compact meaning that all harvesting was over by the 26th of April.

Winemakers Notes:

Sourced from the first twenty-five rows of Clone 5, which was planted in Gibbston at The First Paddock vineyard in 1993. Hand harvested and sorted then a 50% whole bunch indigenous ferment in a dedicated First Paddock French oak cuve. Matured in 30% new French oak with the balance in older wood for an extended 14 months of barrel maturation.

Bright wild flower, spice and dark red fruit aromatics leads to anethereal mineral derived palate.Showing great tension, drive and persistence.

pH:3.6 TA:5.6 g/lAlc: 13%

Proprietor: Sam NeillViticulturist: Mike WingWinemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2017Production: 400 x 6-packs Cellaring: Up to12 years

Reviews & Awards

Wine Enthusiast - Editors’ Choice
93 Points
TWO PADDOCKS First Paddock Pinot Noir 2016 – 93 points (Editors’ Choice) “This is, hence the name, from proprietor and actor Sam Neill’s first vineyard, planted in 1993. Don’t let the slight barnyard funk put you off (after all, Burgundy excels at this aroma). It dissipates in glass, leaving in its wake something quite beautiful: fresh red cherries, whole bunch stalkiness, an array of florals and spice and a meaty undertone. It’s silky, textured and plump-fruited, with a hearty grip of herbal savory tannins. As per usual with these wines, elegance, complexity and age-worthiness are the name of the game.” Nick Stock Contributing Editor
94 Points
Very attractive nose here with properly ripe red cherries, blueberries, earthy root vegetables and a whirl of sappy, wild herbs. The impressively long and powerful palate has a strong, central core of tannins that carries fresh, energetic cherry flavors. Drink or hold.
Gourmet Traveller Wine, Nick Stock
95 Points
A very impressive wine that shows multifaceted complexity in aroma, flavour and tannin structure. Red and dark cherry fruits, herbal threads and a distinct earthy, smooth underlay of tannin.
Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2018 Buyer's Guide
5 Stars
The highly impressive 2016 vintage (5*) was estate-grown at Gibbston, hand-harvested from vines planted in 1993, and matured in French oak barrels (30 per cent new). Deeply coloured, it is an enticingly fragrant, full-bodied wine, with an array of cherry, plum, spice and herb flavours, finely balanced tannins and a savoury, supple finish. An elegant, concentrated and lively red, it should be long-lived; best drinking 2020+.
The Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski
92 Points
The Wine Advocate (235) Feb '18, Joe CzerwinskiSam Neill's First Paddock is starting to show some significant vine age, as it was planted to Clone 5 in 1993. There are 200 cases of the 2016 The First Paddock Pinot Noir, a medium-bodied, velvety-textured expression of a cool site in a warm vintage. Floral notes abound, along with dark fruit and savory, earthy notes. Despite its rich texture, there's some serious backbone to this wine, and it should age well for up to a decade.
Wine of the Week NZDec 27, 2017 by Bob Campbell MW in Wines of the Week Fruit harvested from 24-year-old vines grown in Gibbston and using 30-50% whole-bunches in the ferment. Quite a ripe Gibbston style with red berry, plum, fresh herb and classy oak flavours. A firmly-structured red that gives a strong sense of place.
Wine Spectator Insider, MaryAnn Worobiec
95 Points
Leaps out of the glass, with sophisticated aromas of white pepper, toasted cumin, dried lavender and white truffle. The pure maraschino cherry, pomegranate and cranberry flavors are fresh and vibrant, and the whole package is balanced and complex, reverberating on the finish, with just enough tannic traction to impart an appealing muscular core. Drink now through 2030.

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Contact Us

[email protected]

+64 3 449 2756

PO Box 506
Alexandra 9340
Central Otago
New Zealand


Sale of Liquor License Ref: OF129
Licence No. 67/OFF/30/2022
Expires 24th August 2025

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