TWO PADDOCKS is a small, family winery that is dedicated to making great wine. Established in 1993 by actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Dead Calm etc), its initial ambitions were modest – “I wanted to produce a good Pinot 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” – but have grown over time as the intrinsic quality of Sam’s terroir and product has become apparent.
Central Otago, in New Zealand’s South Island, is the world’s most southerly wine region. In this dramatically-beautiful landscape (tourist hotspot Queenstown is nearby), Pinot Noir makes up three-quarters of plantings. Wineries are dotted around several unofficial subregions: Alexandra, Gibbston, Wanaka and the Cromwell Basin. The climate is strongly continental, with a large ‘diurnal variation’ – temperature swing between day and night – that helps to produce grapes of superb quality.
Two Paddocks ‘Picnic’ Riesling 2012 €19.99
Fragrant and feminine Riesling with gorgeous aromas of spicy ginger, lime juice and pineapple. The intensely-flavoured, mineral-driven palate is classically zingy, with piercing, laser-sharp flavours of candied citrus, honey and grapefruit. Great life, energy and verve! Drink on its own, with spicy Asian food or with lighter, fruit-based desserts.
Two Paddocks ‘Picnic’ Pinot Noir 2011 €24
Perky and bright with a relatively pale colour and lifted aromas of redcurrants, bramble and violets. The midweight wash is lively and satin like, with tart flavours of cranberry, beetroot and black tea. Nervy style that shows lovely balance and length. Enjoy on its own or try with charcuterie, terrines or other cold meats.
Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2010 €36
The estate’s flagship wine! Beautiful lustrous colour with intriguing, sensual aroma of blackcurrant, thyme and wild flowers, broadened by notes of exotic spice and ripe dark fruits. Formidable texture, strength, elegance and persistence. Manages both delicacy and power. Sip and savour on its own or pair with coq au vin or stuffed Portobello mushrooms with blue cheese.
Two Paddocks ‘First Paddock’ Pinot Noir 2010 €50 *LIMITED QUANTITIES*
A venerable Pinot from one of Otago’s oldest plots. Alluring, exotic Pinot that waft aromas of glossy black cherry, truffle and liquorice from the glass. The vivacious, intoxicating palate is generous and open with gorgeously-lush berry flavours leavened by intriguing herb and spice notes. Deep, multi-layered and long. Partner with fillet of venison and wild mushroom sauce or Epoisses cheese.