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Two Paddocks The Last Chance Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Spice, wild thyme and Cuban coffee bean aromatics give way to gorgeous fully textured mouthfeel showing great tension and drive. The palate is elegant and flavoursome with a long lingering mineral finish showing poise, memory and site.
This parcel from Earnscleugh is always elegant and fragrant and has performed well in 2020. There are light red florals of roses, some violets, wild red cherries, raspberries and a fine, spicy layer, as well as sappy elements. The palate has finely layered tannins that anchor in a central red-cherry core of flavor nicely. Fresh, elegant and drinkable, the flavors accumulate in impressive form, really moreish. Fresh acidity, too. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
-James Suckling 96 Points
We started in 1993 with modest ambitions and first planted five acres of pinot noir at our original little vineyard at Gibbston, Central Otago in the deep south of New Zealand.
At the same time, our friend Roger Donaldson planted the land next door, hence the name Two Paddocks. (Roger's paddock proved to be a slow starter, which meant we had to go it on our own; however we kept the title. His brand, Sleeping Dogs, takes its name from the first film we made together.)
I wanted to produce a good pinot noir that would, at the very least, be enjoyed by my family and friends. Frankly, my friends will pretty much drink anything, so this didn't seem too hard. To our great surprise, our first vintage in 1997 was much better than we hoped, in spite of a difficult growing season. 1998 was a more distinguished vintage, and in 1999 we were astounded to produce a pinot that was, we thought, world class. Here was a wine of considerable complexity with an amazing nose, delicious fruit and a good lengthy finish (from clones 10/5 and 5). So rewarding has this vineyard been over the years (and so unpromising as a sheep paddock) that we planted another 5 acres of Burgundian clones there in 2008 bringing the total acreage at The First Paddock, Gibbston, to 5 hectares.
Since that original release in 1997, with each successive year we have produced a pinot noir (sometimes 4 or 5 pinot noirs) that have done us proud and are, to be frank, too good to be wasted on our friends. They still somehow manage to bludge a lot off us, and that, combined with The Proprietor's generous thirst, accounts for the occasional scarcity of Two Paddocks Pinot.
In short, we have become outrageously ambitious - we want to produce year after year, the world's best pinot noir.
Our original vineyard has now been augmented by three other small vineyards, superbly sited in the Alexandra and Bannockburn districts of Central Otago.
The Last Chance vineyard is 7-acres in size on a very beautiful terrace above the Earnscleugh Valley, and sits under some very striking rocky headlands. We planted it with Burgundian pinot vines (5,6,115) in 1998. Two Paddocks "The Last Chance" Pinot Noir is from this single vineyard (first vintage 2002). "The Last Chance" name comes from an old gold miners watercourse that runs through the yard, dating from the 1860s.
In 2000 we acquired Red Bank, a lovely 130 acre small farm nestled between two dramatic rock escarpments. It has become our main vineyard, as we call it rather grandly 'Headquarters', since we have our offices, staff quarters and a splendid Club House as well there. We have planted more Burgundian pinot clones (777,667 and 115 primarily), and the pinot from this, our biggest vineyard, usually forms the backbone of our premium "Two Paddocks Pinot Noir", a wine to die for year after year. (NOTE: Management prefer you not to die for our wine, as we enjoy your custom year after year). We also grow our Riesling here.
Red Bank is, incidentally, more than a vineyard however. It was some years ago, a research station for Crop & Food and we maintain, to this day, many of the medicinal and culinary herbs that were planted then (including lavender, saffron, Echinacea as well as apricots, cherries, apples, pears, truffles etc).
In January 2014, we acquired our fourth small vineyard block, this one in Bannockburn. This a beautifully positioned vineyard, that has been tended with immense dedication and attention to detail and we could not be more delighted to include this iconic site into the Two Paddocks fold. Situated at the end of Felton Road, it is a 6-hectare block entirely devoted to pinot noir and was established in 1999 by Denny Downie and Jane Gill. It lies at the foot of Mount Difficulty and its neighbours are Felton Road, Terra Sancta and Akarua vineyards.
This puts us in the unique position of being the only Central Otago winery with a footprint in all three of Central Otagos great valleys, by owning vineyards in Gibbston, the Alexandra Basin and now the Cromwell Basin. We believe it demonstrates our faith and confidence in the future of New Zealand wine, Central Otago and in particular, Central Otago Pinot Noir.
Fefinanes Albarino de Albarino is 100 percent Albarino
Fresh fruit aromas of apricot and peach slices with notes of lemon and green apple. Pretty notes of honey and wet nutmeg, and the mouth is round, clean, and pleasant with baked apple, honey, and lemon.
This is a classic Albariño which is good young, but actually improves over two to three years and remains quite drinkable for up to five years. Owner Juan Gil comments that the wine really starts to come into its own in June/July, and he actually prefers it 18 or more months after it's made. A Fefiñanes "vertical" of three or four vintages can provide some most interesting surprises.
"One of those textbook Albariños that delivers the goods, year in, year out, this is a very pure expression of the grape, with no lees ageing at all. Sourced from vineyards in the Cambados sub-region, all on decomposed granite soils, it has lovely pear and lime zest flavours and engaging focus, minerality and stony freshness. Hard to beat at the price. 2022-26"
- Tim Atkin (Rias Baixas Special Report 2022), 93 pts
In Selvapiana we have been looking for years for a new place to grow Sangiovese to enhance the
differences of this vine in the Rufina area.
In 1998 the Erchi farm was purchased, in the municipality of Pontassieve, in an area of great viticultural value, of the
15 hectares, in 1999 6 hectares were planted with Sangiovese.
Impressed by the quality of Erchi's Sangiovese and above all by the diversity compared to Selvapiana,
we waited for the vineyard to ripen to bottle the first selection.
James Suckling: 95 Points
La Jota Vineyard Merlot Howell Mountain is made from 100 percent Merlot.
Sourced from vineyards with pedigrees dating back to the 1800s, this wine continues to carry the torch of Howell Mountain’s greatness. e aromatics are lifted with plum, huckleberry and minerality leading the way. Bittersweet chocolate and dried herbs add the punctuation to an incredibly long balanced finish.
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
In general, 2018 was a great vintage for this variety, and the deep purple-hued 2018 Merlot is stunning stuff. Lots of cassis, candied violets, scorched earth, and graphite notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, elegant 2018 with polished tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s going to evolve for 15 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
- James Suckling 95 Points
Finca La Pared Cuvee Especial is made from Graciano & Syrah.
The Cuvee Especial is a Graciano and Syrah blend aged in oak barrels that produces a full-bodied, fresh wine of great complexity and long lasting finish.
"A deep, brooding nose with lots of fine oak spices and hazelnuts that adorn the blackberries and violets. Succulent and bright on the palate, with caressing, silky tannins dialing into the black and blue fruit. Quite long and subtle. Delicious now, but can hold, too."
- James Suckling (June 2022), 94 pts
Toil Oregon Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Dark garnet color. Seductive aromas of black tea, tobacco, and crushed tart cherry and blackberry. Faint notes of vanilla and toast accentuate dark plumb and cherry character. The palate is seamless with silky texture and long sweetness. Classic Oregon Pinot Noir from an outstanding vintage. So incredibly pleased to present the first Toil Oregon Pinot Noir that includes fruit from Toil Estate Vineyard! It is an understatement to say our estate fruit is an amazingly positive contributor to the final blend.
Young yet already showing layers of complexity, this opens with strawberry, raspberry and cranberry fruit, along with a whiff of smoke. It's well set up with ample acidity, and aging in one-third new French oak. Toil wines need a few years to reveal their full power, as tastings of past vintages show. Aerate this aggressively and drink with pleasure now into the 2030s
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Great structure meets a lush texture in this red, with cherry and raspberry flavors that gather bay leaf and dusky spice flavors toward medium-grain tannins. Drink now through 2029. 754 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 93 Points
The Prisoner Wine Company Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
From the most recognized Napa Valley red blend comes a bold, new wine. Made in the same iconic style as The Prisoner Red Blend, we proudly introduce The Prisoner Pinot Noir. Redefining taste once again.
A mix of Russian River and Carneros AVAs produces this classic Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir with notes of ripe cranberry, pomegranate, and cherry with clove spice. The palate is driven by rhubarb and cherry with an underlying minerality and spice, which culminates with soft tannins and an elegant, balanced acidity.
Chef Brett recommends pairing The Prisoner Pinot Noir with Mushroom Risotto or Grilled Salmon.
Morlet Family Vineyards Coteaux Nobles Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Very intense raspberry and kirsch flavors with earthy notes (graphite), rich, round and seamless with a very fruity lingering finish. Will age gracefully for a decade.
Located on the Sonoma Coast, on the Eastern slope of the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean, this unique hillside vineyard benefits from both the cool maritime breeze and the mild and sunny mountain climate. Handcrafted by using classical Burgundian techniques, it is the ‘Noble Hillsides’ or ‘Côteaux Nobles.’
The Coteaux Nobles Pinot Noir comes from 28-year-old vines planted at the Nobles Ranch vineyard in Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. A barrel sample, the pale to medium ruby-purple colored 2019 Pinot Noir Coteaux Nobles slips sensuously out of the glass with a provocative perfume of red currant jelly, raspberry preserves and rhubarb crumble with suggestions of violets and fallen leaves plus a waft of mossy tree bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with juicy red berry layers, supported by plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering earthy note
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94-96 Points
Morlet Family Vineyards En Famille Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
For generations our family has been growing the Pinot Noir grape in France. Each harvest, we love to celebrate this time-honored commitment while our children stomp a small vat of Pinot Noir from California’s Sonoma Coast. As for any family celebration or casual gathering, this handcrafted wine is to be appreciated ‘En Famille.’ Intense raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor and earthy notes (graphite), very rich and complex with a leathery lingering finish. Will age gracefully for over a decade.
Propietary Name En Famille
Name Meaning With the family (with kids’ help) 5 generations with Pinot Noir
Varietal composition Pinot Noir (100%)
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Fort Ross-Seaview
Vineyard singularity On the 2nd ridge off Pacific Ocean 1,100 feet of elevation Goldridge sedimentary soil
Typical harvest date October Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck Sorting Cluster by cluster, berry per berry
Fermentation Through native yeast Punch downs Puncheons only Upbringing 14 months French oak from artisan coopers
Cellaring time 10+ years
Serving Slightly below room temperature No decanting
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Ziata Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
Green Valley is tightly delineated geographically and climatically, and is the most consistent Sonoma Coast appellation in terms of soil, climate and flavor profile. Two factors, in particular, make it ideal for Pinot Noir. First, the predominant soil type is Goldridge, which with its excellent drainage and low fertility, curtails the vine’s vigor. This results in fewer clusters but of better quality. Second, its elevation and cool coastal climate mean a smaller swing between and day and night temperatures, and its overall cooler daytime temperatures allow for a longer growing season to bring out the full potential of the fruit.
This silky Pinot Noir opens with aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry, raspberry and plum, warmed by notes of spice, forest floor and cedar. The wine is fresh and balanced on the palate, with fruit and beautifully integrated oak flowing into a long, juicy finish.
This was the third year of drought, but well-timed watering in the vineyard ensured ample growth and cluster development. Rolling heat spells prior to harvest were kept in check by cool nights, courtesy of the nearby Pacific Ocean. This diurnal range resulted in a medium-bodied, juicy gem of a Pinot Noir.
The Walls Curiositas Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Walls Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a variety of vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA providing structure and power on the nose and palate. Extremely aromatic and super silky tannins – loads of freshness, energy, full spectrum and super complex, with that great combination of weightlessness but great texture and length.
"Lastly, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Curiositas is 100% varietal and comes from a handful of top sites on Red Mountain. Aged in 75% new French oak, it sports a dense ruby/purple hue to go with a brilliant bouquet of cassis and blackberry-like fruits as well as spicy oak, chalky mineral, spice box, and smoked tobacco. It's purity of fruit is spot on, it has full-bodied richness, a balanced, layered mouthfeel, ample textbook Red Mountain tannins, and obvious structure. I’d put this beauty up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Hide bottles for 3-4 years if you can, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this evolve for well over two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (July 9th 2022), 98 pts
Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.
Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
Château Grand-Puy Ducasse will seduce lovers of great red wines from Pauillac with its exceptional quality marked by a very beautiful aromatic richness. A classic vintage, complete, complex, rich and unctuous, this cuvée promises superb aging potential.
Aging 18 months in French oak barrels (35% new for the 2020 vintage).After manual harvesting in crates and an initial sorting in the vineyard, the grapes are sorted again using the latest generation optical sorting system. Vinification is then carried out in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks however for some of the batches, malolactic fermentation is also carried out in new barrels.