2017 Rippon "Mature Vine" Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago

SKU #1511444 99 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark 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. Inner quote mark (11/2020)

94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark 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. (RG) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

K&L Notes

13.0 Abv *Biodynamic*

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Price: $59.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2022 | Send Email
One of the best NZ Pinot Noir's that I've had in the last year. It is a nice dark colour of deep-hued garnet. The nose is very floral with violet and fresh-turned soil. Chocolate cherry, boysenberry, sea salt and baking spices on the palate. Beautiful balance between the soft tannins and the layered oak. In a word, just simply delicious!

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/26/2020 | Send Email
Magical. Known to be the best PN from New Zealand, I must say, yes. All the umami flavors of the world seem to melt together with perfectly balanced oak, dark fruits, underlying chocolate essence and tobacco undertones. This will leave anyone longing for more. A Silky smooth clean finishing wine that's made from one of the most talented viticulturists (Nick Mills), I would easily say this is my new top 5 Favorite Pinot Noirs and would recommend anyone grab some while supplies last.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/22/2020 | Send Email
It's hard to argue that Rippon isn’t making the absolute best Pinot Noir in New Zealand, and arguably the best anywhere. Rippon is one of the original pioneering vintners of Central Otago, planting their first fines in 1974. In addition to being literally the most beautiful vineyard in the world, it is thoughtfully directed by the family’s third-generation winemaker Nick Mills, who trained extensively in Burgundy at DRC, Albert Mann, and Jean-Jacques Confuron among others. Older Pinot Noir vines are grown biodynamically on schist soils and traditionally crafted with as little intervention as possible. Nick mantra is that Rippon isn’t a wine--it is a place, and the wines are made to showcase the perfection of their vineyard. Rippon is known for Pinot Noir that is extraordinarily powerful, and yet incredibly elegant. Known for their ability to age gracefully, in 2019 James Suckling gave the 2010 Rippon a perfect 100 point score, and at #6, it was the highest ranked Pinot Noir on his top 100 list. Whereas it took almost 10 years before 2010 was released, the 2017 is absolutely beautiful now. The 2017 vintage has been my favorite Central Otago vintage by far. The warmth of the season can be felt in the generous fruit and soft tannins of these wines. Nonetheless, I still double-decanted the wine for an afternoon before tasting it with our staff. The aromatic profile of this wine is an utter epiphany: floral with notes of garrigue stand out among crushed stone and warm black fruits. The palate equally measures up with dark, layered fruits among brambles and earth. There are faintly Burgundian aspects, but the sheer power and drive of dark fruit gives it unique depth and expression. Full and focused across the entire palate, brisk tannins and tempered acidity complete the picture, placing it within an elegant frame. This is an absolute zenith of what New Zealand Pinot Noir has accomplished thus far--it just doesn’t get better than this.

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