Reviews

Daniel Honan, Decanter, January 2015 Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Riesling 2012 Iced lemon and a cool honey fragrance, with wafts of freshly baked spiced apple strudel. Rounded honeyed textures lie underneath a long, lingering lime crème brûlée glaze. A wine that proves this region’s greatness in aromatic whites. 93 points

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Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits, January 2015 Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Pinot Noir 2010 “…[Nick] Mills’s wines from one of the most dramatically-stied, cool climate vineyards in the world, are consistently the most evocative of any that I have come across from New Zealand… This 2010 is well worth seeking out for its complex layers of richness, from the tart cherry fruit to the umami herb and detailed earthiness. It’s a big wine with tannic grip and freshness that will sustain it for years at it evolves in bottle” 94 points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, e-robertparker.com, December 2014 This 2013 Tinker’s Bequest Pinot Noir is a new bottling for Rippon ­ with no added sulfur. Deep ruby­purple in color, it offers an incredible nose showing uniqueness and great complexity. The black cherry, mulberry and black raspberry core is accented by nuances of violets, truffles, earth, Chinese five spice and garrigue. It’s wonderfully spicy in the mouth ­ tons of cinnamon ­ with firm grainy tannins and just enough acid to provide ample foundation for the intense flavors, all packed into a medium body. A wine of great elegance and many layers, it finishes very long and graceful. Not sure how long this will age for but it’s looking beautiful now.

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, e-robertparker.com, December 2014 Medium ruby­purple colored, the 2012 Emma’s Block Pinot Noir has lovely red cherry, crushed raspberry and red currant notes with underlying hints of rose hip tea and lilacs. Medium bodied, elegant and with great finesse on the palate, it offers lovely silly tannins supporting the fruit through the long finish. 94+ points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, e-robertparker.com, December 2014 Medium ruby ­purple in color, the 2012 Rippon 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 tight­knit concentration and sturdy tannins, it finishes long and earthy.  92+ points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, e-robertparker.com, December 2014 Medium to deep ruby­ purple colored, the 2012 Tinker’s Field Pinot Noir is bit closed at this youthful stage offering glimpses at the blackberry and black cherry aromas with touches of fertile loam and dried herbs. Medium bodied, the concentrated flavors are taut and muscular at this youthful stage with lots of background layers and a firm foundation of grainy tannins, finishing with great length. 94+ points

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Gary Walsh, Wine Front NZ, December 2014, Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Pinot Noir 2012  Emphatically one of the world’s great Pinot Noir producers.Rich cherry fruit, exotic and erotic spice, musky and earthy perfume. Medium bodied, firm and sure with grainy graphite tannin, clean acidity that’s almost like mineral water in refreshment, such clarity in delivery of flavour. Dense. Precise. Minerally (oh I said that already). Great wine. Needs a few years in bottle to show even better. 95+ or 96 points.

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Gary Walsh, Wine Front NZ, December 2014 Rippon “Emma’s Block” Pinot Noir 2012 You taste quite a lot of sour lemony wines when you’re running through Otago Pinot, and you start to worry about yourself. Then a wine like this turns up and you realise, “It’s not me, it’s them!”.  Good perfume, red fruits, touch of exotic spice, undergrowth and that. Medium bodied, elegant and fine though the mouth – trim and well shaped – well bedded acidity and supple grainy tannin that runs long on the finish. Super composition and drinking appeal. All class. Rated : 96 Points

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Mike Bennie, Wine Front NZ, October 2014 Rippon Gewürztraminer 2011 Incredible bouquet regardless of intent, showing rose petal, musk, quince and pear-fruited. Like genuine perfume. Driving and trim across the palate, showing some light, fine chalky boundaries, but a succulence and fleshiness that lends complexity to texture and gentle weight. Light nuttiness, touch of sourness and bruised apple-tang through the finish. Epic gewürztraminer.  94 points

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Wine Spectator Online, April 2014 Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2010 Shows wonderful depth and concentration to the black cherry and blackberry flavours, with star anise, slate and white pepper notes, delivering fine-grained tannins and a finish that goes on and on. 92 points

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Charmian Smith, Otago Daily Times, March 2014  Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Riesling 2012 An extra year has allowed the lime and citrus notes to develop and integrate with the schisty mineral undertones, forming a stylish wine of intensity and power but beautifully balanced with a long, steely finish. It will continue to develop over several more years. 4 and a half stars

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Charmian Smith, Otago Daily Times, March 2014  Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Soft, dark, plummy fruit with mouth-filling charm, savoury, spicy undertones, a silky texture sheathing a mineral backbone, this is concentrated and harmonious with fine-grained tannins and a long finish. It will mellow with further bottle age.

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Tim Atkin, www.timatkin.com, February 2014 Rippon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 If you’re bored of identikit Kiwi Sauvignons that taste as if they’ve emerged from the same enormous tank farm, this complex, Loire Valley-like example from one of Central Otago’s best producers will come as a pleasant respite. The estate is much better known for its superlative Pinot Noirs, but this biodynamic white deserves to be (almost) as famous. Fermented in old oak barrels, it has a mealy undertone to set alongside the flavours of lime, cream, grapefruit and gooseberry. It’s a very subtle number that wouldn’t look out of place in Sancerre, thanks to its chalky, palate-tingling freshness.

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Mike Bennie, The Wine Front NZ, February 2014 Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Ripe, red cherry fruit characters, garrigue and herbal notes, light slate-like mineral presence in the perfume. Red cherry fruit flavours, compact and intense, crunchy tannins and crisp acidity. Lengthy and cool, restrained, fine boned and pleasing. Has a little bit of pliancy to texture too. Great drinking. 92 Points

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Mike Bennie, The Wine Front NZ, January 2014 Rippon Gewürztraminer 2012 Muted floral, honeysuckle, citrus and rose water aromas. Luscious texture, loose knit and juicy, fine trail of chalky phenolics, finishes crisp and a touch honeycombed. Feels like one that needs age to mellow and lush up but offering refreshment now. 92+ Points

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Mike Bennie, The Wine Front NZ, January 2014 Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Riesling 2012 Glorious cascade of perfume from the glass, faintly nutty, floral, citrus-laden and appley. Complex, layered bouquet. Hold on! Slippery textured with tat-work trim of chalky phenolic, but holds great freshness, an opulence but light and dancing, especially through the lingering, gently honeyed finish. Impressive wine here. 96 Points

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Mike Bennie, The Wine Front NZ, January 2014 Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Rich, riper and intense cherry character, dancing, spicy fruit personality with earth, spice, savoury stuff going on, but pure fruit. Loose knit and fruit driven style, but layers of flavour and spice here. Finishes with tang and pucker, fine, fine, lacy tannins drive a framework into the wine and it bounces with chew across the palate. Intriguing, idiosyncratic and excellent. 95 Points

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Gary Walsh, The Wine Front NZ, January 2014 Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Liquorice, smoky, dried herb, cherry and red fruit. Medium bodied, gummy, ripe tannin, unforced feel, good finish. 94 Points

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Steven Spurrier, Decanter, January 2014 Wines of New Zealand hosted a tasting from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 vintages, proving Central Otago is developing a terroir as well as a varietal expression of Pinot Noir…. In a league of its own was Rippon. From vines planted between 1982 and 1985, all on original rootstocks, the three 2010s (all 13.5%) showed depths of flavour that will evolve over the next decade: the Rippon was earthy, totally complete; Emma’s Block was fresher and more vibrant, while Tinker’s Field was both broader and more open yet seductively pure with great finesse.

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Decanter, December 2013 Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2010 A slightly shy nose with hints of black fruit. Lots of spice and tannin on the palate with multiple layers of fruit and a very delicate finish. Very impressive length with subtle floral notes. Drink 2014-2017.

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Wine and Spirits Magazine Top 100, October 2013 Rippon “Emma’s Block” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2009 “This has the earthy scent of a rose garden. Its relatively light colour belies the intensity of flavour, a pretty, vinous character with tension between its juciness and structure. Nick Mills farms his family’s lakeside estate in Wanaka under biodynamics, separating out this east-facing block where the soil includes clay as well as fine schist gravels. It has a more delicate expression than his other pinots, ghosting earth and roses in the finish” 94 points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, erobertparker.com, October 2013 Rippon “Emma’s Block” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2011 Emma’s Block Pinot Noir reveals quite an earthy, savory nose to begin then gives way to an aromatic core of kirsch, cranberries and mulberries with underlying cedar and cinnamon stick hints. Medium-bodied and tightly knit in the mouth, it presents a good amount of earth-laced fruit layers with a medium level of chewy tannins and lively acid before finishing with very good length. Drink it 2014 to 2020+. 91+ points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, erobertparker.com, October 2013 Rippon “Rippon” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2011 Pinot Noir has an enticing nose of blackberries, red currants and black raspberries with touches of orange zest, cinnamon stick and black earth, plus a whiff of dried mint. Medium-bodied with great balance on the palate even at this youthful stage, it delivers stacks of fruit layers and a medium to firm backbone of grainy tannins that is fused with refreshing acidity right through to a long finish. Drink it now to 2020+. 93+ points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, erobertparker.com, October 2013 Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2011 Pale to medium ruby-purple-colored, the 2011 Tinker’s Field Pinot Noir is intensely scented of red currant jelly, cherry compote and black cherries with nuances of violets, smoked bacon, charcoal and underbrush. Light to medium-bodied and elegantly fruited in the mouth, at this stage the flavor layers are tightly wound around the frame of medium to firm, grainy tannins with just enough acidity before finishing with great length. Drink it 2015 to 2022+. 94+ points

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Lisa Perrotti-Brown, erobertparker.com, October 2013 The 2012 Mature Vine Riesling reveals a very pretty nose of jasmine, lime cordial and lemon drops with hints of beeswax and orange rind plus a whiff of wet pebbles. Off-dry with great harmony and intensity in the mouth, it bursts with citrus and mineral flavors before finishing with great length. 92+points

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Wine Spectator, October 2013 Rippon “Emma’s Block” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2009 This boasts wonderful vibrancy, as firm tannins provide a serious framework for the cherry and raspberry flavours, giving them a taut edge. Details include sage, rosemary and white pepper. Drink now through 2016. 91 points

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Wine Spectator, October 2013 Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2009 Distinctive loam and herb nuances are in the lead here, as plum and savory touches wait in the background. The tannins are firm, gaining traction on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 90 points

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Wine and Spirits Magazine Top 100, October 2013 Rippon “Emma’s Block” Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2009 “This has the earthy scent of a rose garden. Its relatively light colour belies the intensity of flavour, a pretty, vinous character with tension between its juciness and structure. Nick Mills farms his family’s lakeside estate in Wanaka under biodynamics, separating out this east-facing block where the soil includes clay as well as fine schist gravels. It has a more delicate expression than his other pinots, ghosting earth and roses in the finish” 94 points

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Dish Tasting Panel, Dish Magazine, September 2013 Rippon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 “Harmonious with just a hint of smoke and the “green bean fruit” was still dominant. “Nicely developed herbal pea pod notes, a rich creamy palate that’s very textural and showing real elegance and finesse,” noted Simon Fell, while Jo Burzynska added it had nice freshness and nutty notes. It’s a lovely example and will be fascinating to see how it develops with another 6-12 months in bottle. 4 1/2 Stars

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Jo Burzynska, Viva Top 50, April 2013  Rippon Gamay Noir 2012 “Rippon is one of the few New Zealand wineries to make a red Gamay, and examples like this suggesting there’s huge potential for the variety in the country should other wineries rise to the challenge. It’s a joyously drinkable wine, which fuses lively berry fruit with bright florals. As this biodynamic estate has added no sulphur, it will suit those sensitive to this preservative or preferring their wines au naturel.”

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Michael Cooper, NZ Listener, April 2013 Rippon Gamay Noir 2012 “From vines planted at Wanaka in 1987, this Central Otago beauty reveals how delicious wine from gamay noir – the classic grape of Beaujolais – can be. A marriage of substance and charm, it is deeply coloured, with rich berry/spice flavours, an earthy streak and loads of drink-young appeal. “No fining, filtering or sulphur added”.”