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

The Last Chance Pinot Noir - 2016

About the wine

Proprietor's Reserve

“We grow our premium Two Paddocks Pinot Noir entirely on our four small Vineyards in Central Otago. In some exceptional vintages, listening carefully, we realise 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 Last Chance is a beautifully sited small terrace perched in bright clear air above the Earnscleugh Valley, carefully planted with well-tended Burgundian clone pinot noir. It nestles amongst a small cluster of the World’s most southerly vineyards and takes its name from the watercourse that runs through its heart, hand dug by gold miners in the 1860s, The Last Chance.

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:

Soils: Raw schist gravels. Clones: 115 and 5 on various rootstock.

Canopy management: VSP two cane, 4 Tonne per hectare, 80g bunches.

Oenology: Hand picked and sorted in the vineyard. One-third whole-bunch fermentation in a 3.5 tonne wooden cuve. 5 day cold soak. No commercial yeast added, ferment temperature peaked at 32° – post fermentation transferred to medium and light toast French barriques for 11 months maturation. 25% new wood and the balance in second and third fill barrels. Light filtration prior to bottling.

Savoury spicy notes, with dark red fruit, wild thyme and char aromatics. This leads to an elegant well textured palate showing great length, nuance and drive.

pH:3.6 TA:5.9 g/L Alc: 13%

Proprietor: Sam NeillViticulturist: Mike WingWinemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2017 Production: 150 doz Cellaring: Up to12 years

Reviews & Awards Nick Stock Contributing Editor
96 Points
A remote parcel from Earnscleugh, this is looking great in 2016 with abundant ripe cherries, presented in a sturdy yet elegant frame of fine, long tannins. This hits a new level of silkiness and swagger in 2016. Drink or hold.
Gourmet Traveller Wine, Nick Stock
94 Points
This is more about fine-etched acidity, the fruits are into a lighter pink berry zone and have certainly delivered a compelling wine in 2016. Zesty and aromatic with chalky wet stone notes, it has detailed tannin and vibrant tangy fruit flavours bolstered by bright acidity. 
Wine Enthusiast - Editor's Choice
92 Points
Actor Sam Neill is behind this highly regarded Otago label. While is sits firmly in premium territory – and could easily age for the next 10 years – this Pinot is undeniably approachable now. The nose offers heady aromas of red and black berries, beets, vanilla, hot chocolate, Middle Eastern spices and stalky cinnamon. The palate is elegant and tightly wound, with an earthy core and a savory finish.
Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2018 Buyer's Guide
5 Stars
Estate-grown at Alexandra, in 'possibly the world's most southerly vineyard', the 2016 vintage (5*) was hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in French oak barriques (25 per cent new). Full of personality, it is bright ruby, with a spicy, slightly earthy bouquet. Mouthfilling, generous and savoury, it has strong plum, herb and nut flavours, good tannin backbone, an earthy streak, and excellent complexity and harmony. Best drinking 2020+.
The Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski
91 Points
The Wine Advocate (235) Feb '18, Joe CzerwinskiArguably the world's southernmost vineyard, Two Paddocks' 2016 The Last Chance Pinot Noir is a bit firm and taut. Herbal-stemmy notes (it's 50% whole cluster this vintage) accent cherry aromas, while the flavors turn darker on the palate, heading toward charred oak, blackberry and plum. Give this one a bit of time to pull itself together and drink it from 2020.
Wine Spectator Insider, MaryAnn Worobiec
93 Points
Complex and intense, with clove, dried orange peel and vanilla bean accents adding a warm, smooth vibe to the core of dried cherry, wild strawberry and raspberry fruit. Spicy tobacco, cigar box and dried earth aromas linger on the finish, which goes on and on. 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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