Rippon's story begins in 1912 when Sir Percy Sargood bought a high country station on the western flanks of Lake Wanaka. Three decades later, while serving in the Second World War as a submarine lieutenant, Percy's grandson, Rolfe Mills, was struck by the vines growing on the schist slopes of the Douro Valley that reminded him of those back in Wanaka and, with that, a hunch was born. In 1975, Rolfe and his wife Lois began planting experimental vines and, in 1982 began the commercial planting of the 15ha that today comprise Rippon. Biodynamic farming, wild ferments, no irrigation and some of Central Otago’s oldest vines on their own roots all help to produce fruit and wines which are true to their place.
What The Critics Say
18/20 JancisRobinson.com, Julia Harding
"Bright cherry red. Delicate rocky/mineral aroma and plenty of dusty dark-red fruit. Wild herbs but not thyme. So fragrant. On the palate, that rocky dark-red fruit perfectly mirrored. Very fine texture. Coming back to taste this again after the two single-block 2014s, this seems a little more delicate. The tannins finer and more supple. Very elegant and refined. Tinker’s Block has more mass but this has more elegance. Under Diam – only their Osteiner is sealed under screwcap. This wine gives ‘the most complete picture of the farm’. Mature vines from each block. Blocks fermented separately and first winter in barrel. 25–40% whole bunch. (JH)."
94/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski (2015 vintage)
"Tasting Rippon wines young is not always a fun exercise. The 2015 Mature Vine Pinot Noir, in particular, wasn't happy at being roused from its bottle. Like a surly djinn, it pouted, griped and sulked, grudgingly offering up muted aromas of berries and spice. Yet this medium-bodied wine shines in the mouth and will surely emerge from its funk within a few years' time. The texture is dense and fine, with the feel of high thread-count bed linens, and the long finish shows hints of the black cherry fruit and complex spice notes that await the patient."
95/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim (2013 vintage)
"It is captivating and totally seductive on the nose showing dark cherry, game, thyme, olive and floral aromas, leading to a concentrated palate that is beautifully weighted and rounded. The wine offers lovely presence on the palate with gorgeous spicy/savoury nuances backed by seamlessly integrated tannins, finishing impressively long, silky and engaging. At its best: now to 2025. $66.00. www.rippon.co.nz. July 2018. Drink 2020 - 2030
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