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Escarpment Kiwa Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
  • JS95
  • BH93
  • WE92
  • WS90
13.5% ABV
  • WS94
  • D94
  • JS94
  • RP90
  • JS95
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • WS90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Bright ruby red, the bouquet has complexity with notes of black cherries and plum fruit. Lovely softness and texture in the mouth.

Pairs well with all game dishes and roast beef.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 95
James Suckling
A gently smoky and highly nuanced nose offers discreet yet complex sappy notes as well as a lighter stony and almost chalky edge. Beautifully ripe red and dark cherries grow and grow in the glass. The palate has a curvy, fleshy shape to it; it's really smooth and supple thanks to nut-ripe tannins. Hints of graphite-like savory flavours and bright dark cherry fruit power through the neatly framed, crisp finish. Best from 2018.
BH 93
Burghound.com
Like several of the wines in the range this displays a subtle note of herbal tea along with all-but-invisible hints of oak toast on the elegant, pure and beautifully layered aromas of plum, black cherry, raspberry and once again Asian-style tea scents. There is a gorgeous mouth feel to the beautifully textured, concentrated and intense medium weight flavors that coat the palate with juicy dry extract, all wrapped in a strikingly persistent, balanced and utterly delicious finale. This is a wonderfully stylish effort that is at once serious yet refined and it should reward longer-term keeping as the balance is so good that 20 years hence this beauty should still be alive and well. If you can find it, buy it.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Of Larry McKenna's 2014 Pinots, this full-bodied offering is the most approachable right now. A rich, velvety texture underscores elegant notes of brown sugar, tea, cherries and cinnamon. Drink now–2030.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Gravelly tannins give a muscular background to distinct mineral and white pepper flavors, with licorice and anise, cedar and tobacco notes. Robust on the finish. Drink now through 2026.
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Escarpment

Escarpment

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Escarpment, Martinborough, New Zealand
Image of winery
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.

Martinborough

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Part of the Wairarapa region in the southern end of the country’s North Island, Martinborough is a bucolic appellation full of artisan, lifestyle wine producers. Above all else, their goals are to tend vineyards for low yields and create wines of supreme quality. Pinot noir is the main grape variety here, occupying over half of the land under vine.

Comparing topography, climate and soils, the region is nearly identical to Marlborough except that it produces top quality reds on the regular.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

WWH141812_2014 Item# 161606