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The First Paddock Pinot Noir - 2018

About the wine

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four 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, Founder & 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. Soils foundations are derived from the surrounding mountainous schist and windblown loess but higher rainfalls over the millennia have resulted in increased fertility in these blocks. First Paddock is a thoughtfully crafted expression of our foundation site.

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 and then the extreme heat and dry finished abruptly on the 1st February. Cooler temperatures over February / March thankfully slowed ripening down and intensified flavour development, but 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.

Mike Wing, Viticulturist (Since 2009)

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.

“The wine shows great vibrant red fruit and spicy characters, followed by a lithe elegant mouthfeel showing brightness, texture and depth.”

To download tasting note click here

Dean Shaw, Two Paddocks Winemaker (Since 1999)

pH 3.62 TA 6.0 g/LAlc13.50%

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

Bottled:February 2019Total Production:188 doz

Cellaring:Up to 12 years

Reviews & Awards

The NZ organic wine awards are New Zealand's only wine show dedicated to organic and biodynamic wines. The awards were founded in 2014 and continue to grow each year.
95 Points
"Bright and youthful in the glass. Fragrant and lifted aromas of red cherry, blueberry, spice, nutmeg, cedar and sap. Lively and crunchy on the palate, plenty of red fruits, spice, underbrush, earth and pointed acidity. Tannins are firm, structured and layered and provide real length and mouthfeel. Quite light, bright and seamless." Aaron Brasher 
Bob Campbell MW
94 Points
"This warm, early vintage should, in theory, suit a cooler sub region such as Gibbston. Light in colour but not lacking power and with appealing purity. Red cherry, fresh herbs and a smattering of spice, with an interesting touch of heat on the finish. Should age well."Cellar 2022–2032
Wine Enthusiast Best of Year 2021 Issue — December
95 points
“The vines at actor Sam Neill’s original, organically farmed vineyard in Gibbston Valley are now over 25 years old, and the resulting wines are better than ever. The color of raspberry juice, this vintage is, to put it bluntly, sexy as hell. The perfume is evocative, a fruit bowl of cranberry and other red berries with florals, tree sap and spice. Then, after all that prettiness, the tannins hit you, unexpectedly muscular yet filigreed. They juxtapose the delicate crunch of fresh fruit. It doesn’t quite carry the complexity of the Fusilier, but it’s the height of elegance and deliciousness nonetheless." 
Drinking Window: 2021-2030There's a transparency to Gibbston fruit and a floaty-light impression that you don't get in other sub-regions of Central Otago, and here it's in full effect.  Yet the texture is silken and there's plenty of density and excellent ripeness. Despite the earliest harvest on record and a warm season, Gibbston's marginal climate ensures the acidity rip-roars through the wine like a water race.  The tannins are comforting in their seamless, mouthcoating texture.A joy to drink.
“There’s a sweetly smoky edge to this sappy and wildly fresh pinot that has attractive wild herbs, as well as a swirling array of rose flowers, blueberries, cherries and spices. The palate has exceptional polish and deeply layered fruit tannin, glazed with spicy oak nuances and holding long, fresh and silky. From organically grown grapes.”
96 points
Magnificently elegant and stylish, this stunning beauty shows dark cherry, plum, dried herb, olive and toasted almond characters on the nose with nuances of mushroom and floral. The palate delivers splendid weight and expansive mouthfeel, wonderfully enhanced by seductive spicy notes and polished tannins. Superbly refined and engaging with potential to develop graciously. From their Gibbston Vineyard. At its best: now to 2030. Certified organic. $95.00. Jan 2020.

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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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