Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"The First Paddock is our original much loved Two Paddocks vineyard. Planted in 1993, it is now one of the older blocks in Central Otago. Superbly situated in the midst of upper Gibbston, planted in carefully selected Burgundian clone pinot noir vines and meticulously tended. This is a thoughtfully crafted expression of our foundation site."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
96/100 Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com, October 2018 (2017 Vintage)
"Super lively nose with a signature layer of wild flowers and herbs, ahead of fresh, spicy red-cherry and raspberry aromas. The palate delivers a velvety array of fine red cherries, set in a smooth, seamless and long style that marries concentration and elegance. This is great pinot. Drink or hold."
95/100 Cameron Douglas MS, December 2019 (2017 Vintage)
"This Proprietor’s Reserve wine is immediately alluring with a seductive sweet floral and fruit scented bouquet; complex yet precise and layered. On the palate – an equally complex wine with flavours and layers of red berry fruits, wild roses and thyme. The tannins are firm, precise and abundant; acidity equally so, but also highlighting the tart youthful expression the wine is holding onto. Plenty of oak with brown spices and toast, a little cinnamon and clove. Nice swing back to the fruit with a mineral side emerging after a few minutes. Still developing, though drinkable now if decanted. Best enjoyed from 2021 through 2027. Store properly."
5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, January 2020 (2017 Vintage)
"Magnificently elegant and stylish, this stunning beauty shows dark cherry, plum, dried herb, olive and toasted almond characters on the nose with nuances of mushroom and floral. The palate delivers splendid weight and expansive mouthfeel, wonderfully enhanced by seductive spicy notes and polished tannins. Superbly refined and engaging with potential to develop graciously. From their Gibbston Vineyard. At its best: now to 2030. Certified organic."
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, December 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Fruit harvested from 24-year-old vines grown in Gibbston and using 30-50% whole-bunches in the ferment. Quite a ripe Gibbston style with red berry, plum, fresh herb and classy oak flavours. A firmly-structured red that gives a strong sense of place."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2016 Vintage)
"The highly impressive 2016 vintage was estate-grown at Gibbston, hand-harvested from vines planted in 1993, and matured in French oak barrels (30 per cent new). Deeply coloured, it is an enticingly fragrant, full-bodied wine, with an array of cherry, plum, spice and herb flavours, finely balanced tannins and a savoury, supple finish. An elegant, concentrated and lively red, it should be long-lived; best drinking 2020+."
95/100 MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator, December 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Leaps out of the glass, with sophisticated aromas of white pepper, toasted cumin, dried lavender and white truffle. The pure maraschino cherry, pomegranate and cranberry flavours are fresh and vibrant, and the whole package is balanced and complex, reverberating on the finish, with just enough tannic traction to impart an appealing muscular core. Drink now through 2030."
92/100 Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate, February 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Sam Neill's First Paddock is starting to show some significant vine age, as it was planted to Clone 5 in 1993. There are 200 cases of the 2016 The First Paddock Pinot Noir, a medium-bodied, velvety-textured expression of a cool site in a warm vintage. Floral notes abound, along with dark fruit and savory, earthy notes. Despite its rich texture, there's some serious backbone to this wine, and it should age well for up to a decade."