2015 Rippon "Mature Vine" Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago (Biodynamic) SKU #1408878

Price: $49.99

DC 96 JS 96 RP 94
VN 90
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Rippon's "Mature Vine" Pinot Noir is what winemaker Nick Mills calls the "voice of the whole farm." The true expression of the site at Rippon on the edge of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago. This bottling incorporates the diverse and complex soil types and various aspects of the estate; from the ejection cone of pure schist that is "Tinker's Field" to the clay lens-laced schist and lake-tempered "Emma's Block" to the sometimes less talked about terminal moraines soils left from glaciers in millennia past. Most vines are mature (1970s) and own-rooted vitis vinifera. The vineyard is farmed Biodynamically in search of balance and harmony for the wines to bring forth the ultimate sense of place. This is not a wine for those looking for big obvious flavors and flashy winemaking styles. This is for those who believe that wine should be a unique representation of its time and place. Those seeking a textural and even emotive experience that transcends taste alone. The wine eschews excessive fleshy, fruity characters in favor of subtlety and layered textural elements. It encapsulates high energy, vitality and luminosity in place of high alcohol or high toast oak. This wine is truly the most complete expression of Nick's (and the team's) tireless pursuit of a real "vin de terroir." Enjoy!

Staff Reviews

  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    K&L Staff Member
    I love the dusty berry quality right up front on the nose. Then the power comes out. There's a lot of dark fruit coming at you from this glass of wine including mixed berries, plum, and dried concentrated strawberries. The bold fruits shows up strong on the palate too, but then you get to the complexity with black pepper spice, a great level of acidity, and big tannic structure. This would be an excellent Pinot Noir for aging.
  • Cameron Hoppas
    By: Cameron Hoppas
    K&L Staff Member
    Overlooking picturesque Lake Wanaka, Rippon's wines tell a unique story as one of the farthest north wineries in the region. The Mature Vine Pinot Noir reflects a greater picture of Rippon's property, each block bringing a unique sense of place from each corner of the vineyards. This wine is dense and complex, but also fresh an elegant. It's a little tight, but with time opens up with dark fruit aromas, and spicey earthy florals--sandlewood, black pepper, tobacco. The fruit profile changes on the palate to brighter red fruit as the tight structure shows soft tannins fresh, cleansing acidity, but also reveals very alluring umami of fresh wild fungi. Wheres the rack of lamb and sauteed wild mushrooms?
  • Elsa Baez
    By: Elsa Baez
    K&L Staff Member
    I, too, agree with the praises my fellow colleagues have expressed on this wonderful bottling of Pinot Noir from Rippon. It's not just another pinot from the Central Otago because it truly has a great depth and complexity that you'd normally pay for a lot more in other wine regions. There are hints of blackberries, pomegranate, and some spice on the nose with the right amount of freshness, acidity and tannins to finish. In my notes I wrote, "so much going on I don't know where to start!..." and that's a good thing.
  • Stefanie Juelsgaard
    By: Stefanie Juelsgaard
    K&L Staff Member
    Coming from what is continuously lauded as some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the world, this vintage from Rippon oozes grace and complexity. Central Otago as a wine region has only been around for about 30 years, which makes the incredible perfection of this wine even more impressive. The nose hits you right away as Central Otago, but the palate shows less dark fruit than many others in the region. The fruit is juicy red and very pretty with a hint of dusky tannin to keep the length. Winemaker Nick Mills is truly one of the best in New Zealand and runs the winery with a lot of consideration and care. The sloping vineyard land helps create structured, yet ethereal Pinots. If you have yet to try the Rippon wines, do not miss this vintage.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    It might be controversial, but I'm willing to commit myself to the claim that Rippon Pinot Noir is one of the best pinots in the world. The whole world. It belongs in the same sentence as the greats of Burgundy, California, and Oregon. It's really got the entire package; stunning location, incredible varied soils, a winemaker who previously worked at DRC, and biodynamic farming of old vines (many of which are DRC clones). So what's the wine actually like? Intense and powerful, yet remarkably elegant. I've been socking away Rippon since the 2007 vintage, and honestly, the '07s are still short of their peak drinking window. 2015 promises to be a wine for the ages. A hot and dry year, the 15's lend themselves to a slightly fatter fruit making this a beautiful drinker now with decanting, but the power, acidity, and structure is there for the long haul. I have put away more bottles than usual this year because I know I'll have a hard time keeping my hands off of them before they're truly expressing everything they have to offer.
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a beautiful expression of Pinot Noir from has become known as one of the world’s best areas to grow it in. It has plum, fresh blueberries, and black raspberries with minty herbal tones and spice on the nose, and on the palate it has rich, mouthwatering fruit with a touch of savoriness and great acidity that subtly leads into a bright, long lasting finish that begs for another sip.
  • Cameron Price
    By: Cameron Price
    K&L Staff Member
    If I'd not ever had a glass of Pinot Noir and someone put this in front of me I might think it was one of my top five wines of all time. Just looking at the robe in the glass you see a silky texture that is surely translated on the palate with silky smooth tannins, delicately aromatic blue fruit flavors of ripe blueberry and blackberry and a touch of spicy cherries. Sure, it's fruity but the balance of wicked good acidity and overall brightness will make this wine relevant for a very long time. The concentration of fruit structure is do to the mature vines used in making the wine. There also lies tones of damp soil and blackberry leaves on the finish as the layers wipe away which makes this wine all the more fun. If given the opportunity, try this wine. You'll not regret it.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    Not only is Rippon one of the most visually spectacular vineyards on the planet but the wines are also truly world-class and more than worthy of anyone's full attention. This incredible site is farmed by hand according to organic and biodynamic principles. The wines are subtly yet painstakingly honed to faithfully respect this unique piece of land. The "Mature Vine" bottling is an assemblage of several distinct blocks within the broader property and is crafted to represent the place as a whole; a panoramic expression of 'Rippon - the place' in a given year. These old, own-rooted vines grow into a mixture of soils found on the property ranging from pure schist gravels to glacial moraines and lake bed clay. The wine is layered and complex, it unfurls slowly and gradually with time in the glass and food. It's telling a story and most great stories take time to tell. Brambly, leafy fruit, baking spice, wet clay. The tannins are tactile and malleable but firm enough to give great shape, texture and length to the wine. Lovely purity. A baby but already showing its class and pedigree.


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