Today we are privileged to offer you access to some of the finest expressions of Pinot Noir south of the equator, the superlative 2017 Pinot Noirs from the Mills family and Rippon vineyard. These come with emphatic reviews from Nick Stock - as high as 99 points for the remarkable 'Mature Vine' Release - and are extremely limited in quantity. Allocations are scarce.
Lovers of the Pinot Noir grape will know that the best expressions transcend variety and mainline a sense of place. It's true in the great Premier and Grand Cru vineyards of the Cote d'Or and it's true of the exceptional wines of Rippon on the banks of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago.
Consummate wine-grower Nick Mills nurtures these wines into existence with the softest of touches. The farm comes first at Rippon, the wines are the product of the family's century-long love affair with this patch of dirt. The voice of the vineyard rings clear in each cuveé. In 2017, he captured this place wonderfully and has assembled a phenomenal trio of Pinot Noirs.
These wines sit comfortably amongst the best examples from anywhere on the planet. Effortlessly intense in both flavour and aroma with long, moreish tannins that feel like they were chiselled from the same schist soils that bore the fruit - the very best from these wines is still to come and the patient will be rewarded.
Notes by Nick Stock for JamesSuckling.com
2017 Rippon ‘Rippon’ Mature Vine Pinot Noir - 99 points
"This offers aromas of violets, blueberries, red and dark cherries, fragrant,
freshly cracked black pepper and wet dark stones. Complex, but still tightly wound and reserved. The palate is very concentrated, dense and elegantly poised with such powerful tannin, carrying concentrated blueberry and dark-cherry flavors long. Really taut, fully ripe and mouthwateringly intense pinot noir. Dark cherry-pit freshness to close. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drinkable now, but better in five years."
2017 Rippon Pinot Noir ‘Tinker’s Field’ - 99 points
"From a parcel of the oldest vines on the Rippon property with coarse schist gravels, this is a complex and strikingly fragrant pinot noir with aromas of blueberry, blood orange, orange peel, violet, crushed rock, moist earth, pepper and fresh-ground brown spices. The palate has a strikingly vivid and intense core of blueberry and dark-cherry flavors. So vivid, ultra pure and enigmatic, this is restrained yet powerful. The tannins shine bright on a lustrous and deep-reaching finish. Stunning. Try from 2025."
2017 Rippon Pinot Noir ‘Emma’s Block’ - 96 points
"This east-facing block is unique, in that it has clay laced through the schist gravels and produces a slightly fleshier style of pinot. Aromas of spiced red and dark cherries, forest leaves, dark pepper, some oak spice and the savory, dry-stone notes of schist. The palate has very silky, smooth-honed texture and a long, focused run of fine tannin. Darker-cherry flavors sit fresh at the finish. Drink or hold."
Secure your allocation of some of New Zealand's finest at the link below.