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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Jul 20, 2016
Vino Fino

From the tastings: Rippon

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Rippon with Nick Mills.

Rippon is all about the 'Sense of place'. With a family history on the land (originally Wanaka Station), streching back over 100 years and the vineyard over 30, there is a very special connection of the Mills family to Rippon. Nick is the second generation of the family to be involved with the vineyard after Rolfe and Lois planted the first experimental vines in the 1970s. Of those 30+ varieties, five were deemed suitable and formed the basis of the vineyard with the first vintage in 1985. The vineyard is planted from those original vines, still on own root stock (not grafted), re-propogated as necessary. As the years pass, these vines are becoming adapted to the Rippons unique environment. Along with natural winemaking, this holistic, bio-dynamic approach allows the 'farm voice' to be heard in the wines. This is often talked about by wine makers, but the wines Nick presented tonight really showed this uniqueness.   

Vino Fino

Rippon with Nick Mills.

Rippon is all about the 'Sense of place'. With a family history on the land (originally Wanaka Station), streching back over 100 years and the vineyard over 30, there is a very special connection of the Mills family to Rippon. Nick is the second generation of the family to be involved with the vineyard after Rolfe and Lois planted the first experimental vines in the 1970s. Of those 30+ varieties, five were deemed suitable and formed the basis of the vineyard with the first vintage in 1985. The vineyard is planted from those original vines, still on own root stock (not grafted), re-propogated as necessary. As the years pass, these vines are becoming adapted to the Rippons unique environment. Along with natural winemaking, this holistic, bio-dynamic approach allows the 'farm voice' to be heard in the wines. This is often talked about by wine makers, but the wines Nick presented tonight really showed this uniqueness.   

Vino Fino

Rippon Sauvignon Blanc 2015
A warmer ferment reduces the thiols (tropical fruit characters) and this is more about texture along with a pure mineral streak that comes from the schist soils.. dry, mineral, flinty, with hints of herb and citrus. A very satisfying style.​
Retail $29.99 Special $24.99

Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2012
This comes from all the Pinot Noir sites on the vineyard, hence the notation "Rippon". Nick describes it as the orchestra. There are lifted aromas of berry, floral spice and on the palate it is fine and finessed, but there is also plenty of structure to give it power., before finishing with an explosion of flavour. Very impressive  
Retail $63.99 Special $56.99​

Rippon “Emma’s Block” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2012
There are two distinct sites on the vineyard, that make the single site "soloist" Pinot Noirs. This is from the tiny Emma's block which quite close to the lake on clay loess soils. Being closer to the water it is also a bit more temperate.The wine reflects this with a malable, supple, quite dense texture, whilst the flavours are quite similar to the Rippon. 
Retail $98.99 Special $89.99

Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2012
The Tinkers Field was planted 1986 -89 on schist rocky soils. which give precision and drive and as Nick describes "compression" - very obvious on this wine. Nick had an interesting analogy about vine age, where he describes young vines as like a child drawing with a crayon - the result is vital, vibrant but lacks detail. As the vines age they offer more prescision, accurancy, being able to describe who they are and from.
Retail $114.99 Special $105.99​

Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2006
As a very special treat Nick bought along a jereboam of the 2006 "Rippon". This was a real 'wow!' wine. Still quite fleshy and fruity, with a fine undercurrent of savoury flavours. There is a core of completness. I was fortunate enough to be able to take some of the left-over wine home and tried it 2 days later - it was even better. This is a wine that has the power and depth to age for quite some time yet and an indicator for the longevity of the 2012 wines.    
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Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Riesling 2013
Mainly from the Tinkers Field vineyard from the oldest vines planted 1987 - 1991. These old vines have well and truly attached themselves to the schisty soils and the dry mineral characters come right through into the wine​ The grapes are foot crushed and left on skins for a couple of days then whole cluster pressed and then racked off, including all the suspended matter. The juice is fermented in tanks on their side to give plenty of yeast cell contact with a natural, warm ferment. The wine stayed on the lees for 3 months where it autoyises the solid matter. This is not a pristine, crisp Riesling, but rather one with layers of textural elements.
. Zesty; acidulous; lemon cream; An excellent dry Riesling.  
Retail $37.99 Special $30.99​

Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Riesling 2010
Served from Magnums. 2010 was a warmer year than 2012, and this is slightly sweeter at 12 gms rs. The tropical fruit flavours expand through the palate. It is soft, unctuous and utterly delicious.
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Rippon Gewürztraminer 2013
Like the Riesling, this has less emphasis on vibrant fruitiness than texture, although there is no mistaking the spicy aromatic Gewurztraminer fruit. The palate has shape and form that fills the palate and a gentle dryness.  
Retail $37.99 Special $30.99​