2012 Rippon "Rippon" Mature Vine Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $50+)

SKU #1294992 96 points James Suckling

 This is the mature-vine assemblage of the entire property and has a more granitic, schist, wet-stone and rock edge as well as delicate perfumes and hints of pepper, not to mention poached raspberries and cherry fruit. Great depth and weight and good phenolic concentration. It's all saturated in dark cherry flavors and plenty of tannins. No compromise in detail. Best from 2018, but will grow well past that.

93 points Wine Spectator

 Balances elegance and power, with juicy plum and black cherry flavors that are structured and plush, showing plenty of licorice, dried lavender and star anise aromatics. Gains momentum on the finish, lingering with a note of chai tea. Drink now through 2025.

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 (92+) Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2012 Pinot Noir has a very earthy nose over notions of blackcurrants, blackberries and red plums with accents of anise and pepper. Intensely flavored in the medium bodied mouth with tight-knit concentration and sturdy tannins, it finishes long and earthy.

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Nick Mills and his family dry farm pinot noir on schist gravels and glacial moraine, following a biodynamic regime from pruning to bottling, blending the older vines into Rippon. The fruit of those vines produces a savory wine, as if the bas-relief of tannins were chiseled out of rock. While the scent of the wine is bright and spicy, the flavors are dark in tone, with no immediacy of fruit flavor. Instead, the wine is about earthiness, with beautiful pushback that develops in the texture as it takes on air. It feels healthy, a wine that will live for a decade in the cellar.

K&L Notes

My first impression of Rippon vineyard on the shores of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago was that some rich guy probably just planted a vineyard in a spectacularly scenic location and I assumed (on that basis) that the wines were likely to be terrible. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only is Rippon a serious contender for the most visually beautiful vineyard on earth; it also issues up some of the world's finest wines. Rippon is a multi-generational farm currently under the custodianship of Nick Mills, his family and a small dedicated team. The vines are farmed according to biodynamic principals with the utmost care and respect for this unique piece of land. Similarly the resulting wines are very gently nurtured and beautifully reflect the terroir. Nick's training at the prestigious Lycée Viticole in Beaune and time working in the cellars of some of the Burgundy's most revered Domains (DRC included) is evident in his Pinot Noirs not because they taste or feel like Burgundy but because they taste and feel like Rippon. His time in Burgundy and passionate belief in the uniqueness of this land ultimately guides him to allow the wines to faithfully reflect whatever the season determines. The ability to encapsulate this sense of time, place and culture is the true magic of winemaking. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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Price: $39.99

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Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2017 | Send Email
This is a world class Pinot Noir. It has beautiful aromatics and dry red fruit flavors that are layered with mineral undertones. This is all put together to form an elegant package. You get a lot of wine for this price.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/22/2017 | Send Email
If you love Pinot, click and buy this now. I'll wait. Do it. You will not regret it. If this is not the best Pinot in the store, than it is one of the top 5, regardless of price. This captures Pinot at its most beguiling. It is simply pure but complex. Subtle but intense. Delicate but powerfully structured. Open knit but concentrated. Immediate but reserved. And somehow all of these words fail. Buy some before the staff buys it all.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2017 | Send Email
This Pinot Noir is an amazing representation of what you get when you blend vineyards from completely different soil sources – clay, schist gravels, and glacial moraine all combine to make this wine incredibly complex and enticing. This is a unique estate blend from an organic and biodynamic producer from a cool, but incredibly high quality vintage. All components of this wine come together in perfect balance. Otago’s cool climate adds freshness and brightness, while the long sunny days bring the fruit to just enough ripeness to highlight the best elements. The clay soils contribute a richness and body to the wine, while the schist highlights earthy notes. This is my favorite NZ Pinot Noir in the store and is something no one should miss.

Staff Image By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/21/2017 | Send Email
What an outstanding price for one of the top producers in Central Otago Pinot Noir! We have long been proponents of the serious, incredibly well-made wines of Rippon. Nick Mills, the winemaker has both an phenomenal palate, and a fantastic background of wine making on which to draw. In the 2012 vintage we see a classic Rippon Pinot Noir, well-balanced with medium body, displaying strawberry and blackberry notes intermixed with savory, brambly elements, and plenty of structure to age for the long haul. Both elegant and serious, with a wealth of layered flavors, it is easy to see the quality here.

Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/17/2017 | Send Email
Wow! If you are looking for a bone dry, focused and powerful pinot noir at an exceptional price point, this is your wine. Aromas of white pepper, tea rose, cinnamon, baked strawberry and savory herbs abound. The palate is light bodied with balanced acidity, and hints of cardamom and red apple skin. A clean finish tells a story of terroir, with blasts of wet rock and lingering minerality.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.