2016 'Rippon' Mature Vine Pinot Noir
|Origin||New Zealand, South Island|
|Other||Bio-dynamic, Practicing Organic|
(Lake Wanaka, Central Otago, 2,153 cases, 24% whole cluster, unfined and unfiltered, SRP $55, 13.5%). Perfumed and attractively layered aromas speak of poached plum, spice, dark currant and a whiff of earth. The supple, round and relatively forward medium weight flavors that possess a lovely sense of energy, all wrapped in a firm, dusty and serious though not really austere finish. With that said, this is sufficiently firmly structured to require at least 5 to 8 years of additional bottle age to reach its peak. Worth checking out provided you have the patience to cellar it accordingly. Drinking range: 2026 - Rating: 91 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Oct 2020)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
One of the few New Zealand Pinots that benefit from decanting in their youth, Rippon's 2016 Mature Vine Pinot Noir packs in raspberries, hints of Asian five spice powder and delicate herbal notes behind a wall of crushed stone and firm but ripe tannins. It's medium to full-bodied, with a long, slightly chewy finish. Don't be afraid to lose this one in the cellar for 5 or more years. Drinking range: 2020 - 2030 Rating: 94 Joe Czerwinski, www.robertparker.com (Jul 2020)
This is such profoundly complex pinot with violets, dark cherries, plums, blueberries, graphite, black tea, peppery nuances, licorice and woody spices, all taking a role on the nose. The palate has such density and precision, delivering a powerfully composed and profoundly concentrated core of blueberry and dark-cherry flavor in a layered and refined style. Such impressive depth and character. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold. Rating: 97 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Oct 2019)
Nick Mills returned home after several years away, working with the likes of Alain and Sophie Meunier at Domaine JJ Confuron, and Pascal Marchand (late of Domaine Comte Armand and then at Domaine de la Vougeraie). This experience with some of the leading players in Burgundy has fired him with enthusiasm, and we are already seeing the fruits of his experience in the changes in viticulture (to bio-dynamism) and the increased depth of mineral complexity in the wines.
Nick Mills on Biodynamics: 'Granted custodianship over this very special piece of land, the family's principle goal is to create vins de terroir, wines that are an accurate reflection of their surroundings. It is the micro-life in our soils which, in their ability to metabolise minerals into a form that vines can assimilate, are the link in between plants and the earth. This simple biology is the essential framework in producing a wine which is true to its soil and site. With this understanding comes an absolute respect for the land and life therein and it is for this reason that Rippon is run biodynamically.
Decisions made in the vineyard and winery first consider the effect the outcome may have on the micro-flora of the soils, vines & wines. Rippon does not use herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or soluble nitrogenous fertilisers on the property. All the property's organic waste matter is recycled to make around 40 tonnes of fungal dominant compost every year. This is spread back over the land during the first descending moon after harvest as an inoculation of beneficial micro-flora for the whole property...and thus starts a diverse and vital web of life on which to live and produce.
Although it also contains some of Nick's wonder pinot, this case is an exposition of his white wine. Riesling is often referred to as the ‘white Pinot Noir’, and its ability to soak up this remarkable terroir is evident in Nick’s perfectly balanced expression of the grape – lively citrus, green apple and blossom which moves into a satisfyingly richer finish. His Sauvignon Blanc follows suit, having a lot in common with the Loire Valley, but retaining its unique New Zealand character. With 50% of the wine fermented in old French oak, an additional layer of texture is added, marrying familiar notes of cut grass, tomato vine and green pepper with a slight touch of pastry.'
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