TWO PADDOCKS | Pinot Noir | 2016
pinot noir


We will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss our reviews. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations.

Sam Neill had a dream: to produce some of the greatest wines imaginable. All modesty aside, he decided that there is no place for modesty in his family-owned company, and therefore the resulting wines are so much better than that. Having said all that, they don’t take themselves at all seriously – the seriousness they leave to their very serious wines.

The wine we are going to review today is a living legend from New ZealandPinot Noir 2016 by Two Paddocks. This is a very very small company, utterly obsessed with pinot noir, riesling, organics, quality, authenticity, detail and style. The domain is made up of four beautiful organic vineyards scattered around Central Otago – the southernmost wine region in New Zealand and possibly the whole wine world. The wine itself is a harmonious blend of different pinot noir grapes sourced from the four organic vineyards: 68% The Fusilier, 13% The Last Chance, 13% The Red Bank and 6% The First Paddock. This pinot noir blend is nothing less than a bottled art as it was designed by a synergy of nature and passion: the grapes have been 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. Sam Neill might be slightly mad, as he can feed a good merlot or cabernet franc to Angelica, but nobody ates his pinot noir. On to the tasting!
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:


Pale and transparent garnet color, with elegant copper shades towards the rim of the glass.


The nose is strong, filled mostly with red fruits and irony-herbaceous flavours: ripe sour cherry, tomato leaf, red currant, cranberry, overripe red plum, cherry tomato, wolfberry, currant leaf, asparagus, wormwood and earth dust. An instant later the nose is filled with subtle-delicate notes of dried cherry tomato, red pepper, dried meat, nutmeg, dried red olive, cherry tree wood, sun dried oakwood and some insistent irony-bloody hints.


The wine is extra-dry, with high alcohol level, high acidity and fine-grained tannin. It feels round, supple and velvety, with a quite complex character and an elegant fruity yet earthy accent. This is a fine, noble and extremely appealing pinot noir wine, which has an amazing harmony and a savory, seedy-crisp mouthfeel. The wine has a very good overall balance between varietal aromatics and secondary flavours – in fact this is one hell of a pinot noir – the best we’ve tasted so far – simply majestic.


The wine has a lasting finish and a very elegant, seedy and a bit tart aftertaste.

96x96This is definitely an outstanding wine of New Zealand and, with a total of 95.5 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Conclusion: this is a world-class pinot noir wine that is right there, t the summit of its prime form – a wine that is definitely ready to drink now or kept for another year in the bottle. It is an exceptional wine, one that delivers ripe, fine-grained tannins and crisp, mouth-watering acidity on the mouthfeel and, with a little more time in the glass, a plethora of delicate spiciness and mesmerizing savoury-earthy notes like violets that are so much sought after by the wine connoisseurs. Two Paddocks Pinot Noir is a wine that is about as velvety as any world-class pinot noir can get – supple, round and noble, mixing elegance with finesse. Our only recommendation is to drink now, as it is always better to drink a wine a year too soon than a day too late, and pair it with smooth-textured meaty dishes like a blue rare tournedos rossini steak with black truffles and foie gras. Enjoy!

WineStatistics tasting results:

Pinot Noir | 2016

grape: | pinot noir |

region: New Zealand | Central Otago

overall rating: | 95.5 |

maturity: in its prime

conclusion: outstanding | (simply epic)



© The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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