The 2010 vintage in Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, in the deep south of New Zealand’s South Island is one of those years that will bring a smile to the face of the regions winegrowers for all eternity. You can sense this by just looking at the grin of satisfaction on Sam Neill’s face, the proprietor of Two Paddocks; it’s the look of a man vindicated–of what they said was a folly–that the region he planted in was ‘too cool, too marginal in climate to ripen pinot noir”. They said, “You cannot make truly great pinot noir in Gibbston”
Well, I am here to tell you winemakers in the Gibbston Valley have arguably made the most profoundly complex pinot noirs in all New Zealand in 2010 and the Two Paddocks First Paddock Pinot Noir 2010 the benchmark for the country and unparalleled in its silken texture and captivating aromas of pipe tobacco and winter herbs; a deep, plush succulence of berry fruits yet restrained and brooding in its youth.
All the Two Paddocks 2010 Pinot Noirs are outstanding, perhaps the star being the Picnic Pinot Noir 2010 as surely there are very few pinot noirs on this planet than can deliver (or in this case over-deliver) such sheer drinking pleasure and true varietal character for the money; it is a genuine bargain.
I will be posting an article in due course on the four Two Paddocks Pinot Noir cuvees, to which was paired a whole Welsh Spring Baby Lamb that we secured especially for the occasion–the perfect pairing to the wines–although the ‘Prop’ might be a little miffed that the lamb was from Wales and not Ireland (or New Zealand), however it is not spring in New Zealand and my artisan butcher did his level-best just securing this as it was, one of 10 lambs only that he managed to air-freight in to (over-regulated, conservative) Singapore.
I slow-roasted the lamb whole with just some garlic and rosemary rub, only just managing to fit in my Italian La Germania oven (literally uses a foot to get the oven door closed) that has a mind of its own temperature wise and simply turned off the oven for the last few hours and poured a bottle of white wine in the roasting tray which kept it wonderfully moist.
Here’s couple of before and after shots; look out for the full article soon