Actor Sam Neill planted his original 2 hectare vineyard, the First Paddock site, at Gibbston in Central Otago in 1993. That vineyard has now been doubled in size and two more blocks added, the 3 hectare Alex Blocks vineyard perched above the Clutha River at Alexandra and the 5.5 hectare Redbank Paddocks site in the Earnscleugh Valley. Winemaker Dean Shaw crafts a stunning set of Pinot Noir wines under the Two Paddocks premium label along with gorgeous Pinot Noir and Riesling under the Two Paddocks Picnic label. A superb range of wines that impress with their detail and clarity.
The flagship from Two Paddocks – an organically grown barrel selection from the estate properties. In 2017 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.
An impressively complex nose here with a very fresh and juicy, red-cherry and berry nose that offers such alluring style. The palate has a succulent and juicy feel with a plush, toasted-spice and ripe, red-cherry core. Made from organically grown grapes. Firmish finish. Try from 2021. Screw cap. Rating: 93 Points; James Suckling
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