Structured with elegant ripe tannins and an appealing length of flavor, the ripe berry fruits combine beautifully with hints of fennel and feral forest floor flavors. Inspired by the classic wines of Burgundy, this Pinot Noir is a tribute to Martinborough's unique terroir and the skills and experience of winemaker, Larry McKenna.
Escarpment Vineyard was established in 1999 as a joint business venture between Robert & Mem Kirby (of Australia's Village Roadshow) and Larry & Sue McKenna. Collectively, these four directors bring to Escarpment a world of experience, skill and understanding to the nurturing and making of fine, deliciously sublime wine.
It goes without saying the impetus behind establishing this vineyard came from the four's deep love for Pinot Noir. Meeting by chance in 1999 through Dr Richard Smith, Larry and Robert quickly hit it off and realised they had more than a love for the grape in common. Serious talk about establishing a definitive New World vineyard began in earnest even then and the 'idea whose time has come' has resulted in one of the most significant vineyard developments in the New Zealand district of Martinborough.
Escarpment is accredited with Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand®, an industry initiative directed through New Zealand Winegrowers. With a growing trade and consumer demand for environmentally friendly products, it provides an important platform to promote the New Zealand wine industry as a world leader in clean, green wine production.
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Situated on the southern tip of the North Island, Martinborough is just across the strait from Marlborough. Martinborough is a town, as well as a region within Wairarapa, which, in turn, is located within the region of Wellington. Just to add more confusion, Wellington is also the name of the city there, the capital of New Zealand. Sometimes the names of these three regions are interchanged, but know that all three names mean the wine has come from the bottom tip of New Zealand's North Island.
The grape making the most splash from the area is Pinot Noir. It is the region's most planted variety and the one getting the most attention. However, being that it's the neighbor of Sauvignon Blanc land, Marlborough, it uses these climate similarities to produce delicious wines from that grape as well.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
An excellent example of a lighter NZ pinot noir from one of the best NZ regions for pinot (Otago being the other prime area). A light fruity style but still with that distinctive NZ character and freshness.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.