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Two Paddocks Pinot Noir - 2016

About the wine

The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2016 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.

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. *All Two Paddocks fruit is hand-picked by our own crew.

Winemakers Notes:

Hand harvested, 75% de-stemmed and given a 5-7 day pre-fermentation cold maceration. After an indigenous ferment the wine is given another 5-7 days post ferment 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: 68% The Fusilier - Bannockburn, 13% - The Last Chance – Earnscleugh (Alexandra), 13% The Red Bank – Earnscleugh (Alexandra) and 6% The First Paddock – Gibbston.

Aromatically this wine exhibits dried herb with a dark spice and bramble fruit spectrum, leading to an elegant textural mouthfeel showingminerality, great balance and drive.

pH 3.5 TA 6.0 g/l Alc 13.0 %

Proprietor: Sam NeillViticulturist: Mike WingWinemaker: Dean Shaw

Bottled: March 2017 Cellar: 2017 – 2025

Reviews & Awards

Wine Enthusiast
92 Points
Two Paddocks’s midrange Pinot still plays very much in the premium league. Bright red berry, vanilla pod, black olive, drying herbs and bran muffin notes are underpinned by tightly wound tannins and a mineral streak amidst a silky texture. The contrast between the bright, crunchy fruit and the austerity of the tannins is intriguing, making this wine drinkable now, but suggesting that its best is yet to come. Drink now–2026. 
The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor Parsons, Sommelier
Very elegant
Even the packaging of this wine sets it apart from the rest: it looks like quality wine, neither too generic nor too over-the-top. And indeed, this is a real-deal, very solid Pinot Noir. It’s made by Sam Neill on his home New Zealand turf, farmed organically, harvested by hand from estate-grown fruit and made with restraint. These are all very good decisions, and the wine is all the better for them. It’s beautiful in the glass, a clear, bright ruby red, and the aromatics hit all the right notes for a high-quality New Zealand pinot: fresh red and black fruits with some warm spice and woodsy herbal tones underneath. It’s very elegant in the mouth, fresh and not too broad but very friendly and drinkable. Absolutely on the level. I’m impressed.
Gourmet Traveller Wine, Nick Stock
95 Points
Phenomenal pinot with a swanky mix of lighter red cherries and nicely played oak spice, crushed roses and wild herbs. The palate has a sturdy spine of tannin with cheek-filling, fleshy red cherry fruits. Deeply entwined tannin in a mode that conjures up the DNA of the best pinots from the region. 
Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2018 Buyer's Guide
5 Stars
The latest vintages are the best yet. Grown at the company's sites at Bannockburn (68 per cent), Alexandra (26 per cent) and Gibbston (6 per cent), and matured in French oak casks (20 per cent), the 2016 vintage (5*) is deep ruby, fresh, youthful and savoury, with vibrant, plummy, spicy, nutty, slightly earthy flavours, showing excellent complexity, and a well-structured, long finish. Likely to be long-lived, it's well worth cellaring to 2020+.
The Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski
89 Points
The Wine Advocate (235) Feb '18, Joe CzerwinskiA blend of three sites (Bannockburn, Earnscleugh and Gibbston), the 2016 Pinot Noir reflects those disparate characters. Some herbal notes contrast with ripe notes of dark plum, providing an enervating tension. It's medium to full-bodied, with a smooth texture and tart, silky finish.
John Saker: always more to learn about Central Ota
Great real energy an
John Saker: always more to learn about Central Otago pinot JOHN SAKER Last updated 05:00, February 17 2018 SuppliedThe 2016 vintages of Roaring Meg and Two Paddocks pinot noir are fine examples of what Central Otago has to offer. I marvel at the knack of the Central Otago wine community to refresh, rearrange and surprise. The region put on the 13th edition of its intermittent three-day Pinot Celebration events last month. I've been to a few of them and there's never the slightest suggestion that the gig is getting stale.Certainly, wine's annual, natural cycle of renewal helps with this. There's always a freshly minted vintage to consider. But in the case of the Central Otago winemakers, the diversity is intensified by a strong collective desire to question past practices and try new things.The way they express this ethos so honestly is refreshing. "Don't let any new world winemaker tell you he or she hasn't made mistakes," said Ted Lemon, the California-based consultant to Burn Cottage Vineyard. "We all make mistakes because there's still so much we don't know." And this from Prophet's Rock winemaker Paul Pujol: "I learned from the vineyard. I realise now I shouldn't have done the things I did several years ago" (in making pinot noir).As a result of this, what you may have thought was a typical Central Otago pinot a few years ago might be a hard style to find today.The Celebration gave me the chance to reacquaint myself with Central's class of 2016, a vintage that has its share of highlights at this early stage. Besides the two I feature later in this column, here are the recent releases to that impressed: Aurum Estate Organic Pinot Noir 2016, Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2016, Domain Road Defiance Pinot Noir 2016, Gibbston Valley Glenlee Pinot Noir 2016, Mondillo Pinot Noir 2016, Prophet's Rock Cuvée Aux Antipodes 2016 and Quartz Reef Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016.The event also threw a spotlight on Oregon, the third member of modern pinot noir's golden triangle (think of it as a pyramid with Burgundy at the top and New Zealand and Oregon holding down the base). We don't get to see much Oregon pinot in New Zealand. There were some exciting wines among from the Oregonians we tasted at the event – taut, quite savoury and intricate.Another surprise came in the form of a pair of older wines. 2011 was never rated as much of a vintage in Central, but the Aurum Mathilde Pinot Noir 2011 and the Prophet's Rock Pinot Noir 2011 were both extraordinarily good. That's pinot… it likes to keep us guessing.Try theseRoaring Meg Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $30 What winemaker Matt Dicey achieves with this smartly priced, widely distributed wine is amazing. It offers a joyous gush of succulent dark fruit laced with pretty florals and toasty oak, and doesn't seem to know when to stop. Approachable and delicious.Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2016 $50 The intriguing evolution of this wine (and winemaker Dean Shaw) continues with this red fruit-dominant juicy rendition. It has haunting scents, together with great real energy and length.  - Your Weekend
Wine Spectator Insider, MaryAnn Worobiec
91 Points
Fresh and juicy, featuring cherry and raspberry flavors that are bright and fragrant, with details of toasted rye, dried lavender and sarsaparilla, set on a dense, tight body. Shows plenty of concentration and spicy details that linger. This may become more expressive with short-term cellaring. Drink now through 2030.
A blend of the Bannockburn, Earnscleugh and Gibbston vineyards. This leads with ripe sweet cherry-berry fruit aromas ahead of a spicy and meaty background. Plenty of youthful appeal. The palate is succulent and packed with vibrant flesh, attractive red cherry fruit and plenty of lithe, juicy tannins. Drink now.

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Central Otago
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