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