The best Pinot Noir we have ever tasted from New Zealand Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir is a legend in the making. Rippon calls Central Otago home, which is the only continental climate in New Zealand, located explicitly on Lake Wanaka, one of the world's most beautiful places. Rippon Mature vines is a serious world-class Pinot Noir from vines planted between 1985 and 1991. This is built for aging and has an outstanding balance of fruit and schist terroir with classical complexity thanks to a bit of whole cluster use. We tasted this a few months ago and recently again, and it was spectacular, albeit, in its youthful state, there is so much to love about this wine. Elegant, deep, and complex, rivaling some of the best Pinot Noirs in the world with a level of quality that would go for at least double if it were made in France or California. 2017 is one of, if not the best vintages of all time for Rippon with a serious terroir-driven side for European fans while showing stunning purity of fruit for the Domestic ones. Rippon Mature Vines is a tightly allocated , but we were lucky enough to get a few cases this time around, and at the moment, we have some of the only bottles available in the USA.
James suckling 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."
Vinous (Rebecca Gibbs MW) 94 points! "Seductive, come-hither Pinot Noir that tastes like it's just finished a three-day yoga retreat. I could talk about the dried herb, umami and plum flavors, but that would be neglecting what is important about this wine: its ease of texture and in particular the almost honey-like texture of the tannins. It has relatively delicacy on the palate but it expands, giving a sense of generosity in terms of the space it covers while in your mouth. Starting to drink now – as are many of the 2017s vs the current-release 2019s – this should continue to evolve gracefully until the latter half of the 2020s. The finish is all tea leaf and plum, spice and cedar. And, in the world of Pinot Noir, still relatively well priced."