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.
95 points, Bob Campbell MW (December 2017)
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 flavors 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.
95 points, MaryAnn Woobiec, Wine Spectator (2018)
Very attractive nose here with properly ripe red cherries, blueberries, earthy root vegetables and a whirl of sappy, wild herbs. The impressively long and powerful palate has a strong, central core of tannins that carries fresh, energetic cherry flavors.
94 points, Nick Stock (October 2018)
Smoky and stemmy perfumes to sniff, the wine full-bodied and rich, deep and fleshy with abundant tannins. It's very slightly reductive and is broad-shouldered, with lots of structure and backbone and a slight bitterness. Very good.
92 points, Huon Hooke (January 2019)
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.
92 points, Joe Czerwinski (March 2018)
Central Otago, located at the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand, is the world’s most southerly wine region. In a short amount of time, the area has established itself as a world-class region for Pinot Noir. The picturesque region is surrounded by mountains ensuring a cool semi-continental climate that experiences a large diurnal range contributing to the creation of intensely concentrated wines with perfume, and complexity. Central Otago’s vineyard area is divided into six distinct sub regions each with their own climate and wine style. Best known for producing intensely Fruity medium to full bodied Pinot Noir, Central Otago’s cool climate also produces outstanding Riesling as well as superb bottle-fermented Sparkling wines.