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Escarpment Kiwa Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
  • D94
  • WS94
  • JS94
  • RP90
12.7% ABV
  • JS95
  • BH93
  • WE92
  • WS90
  • JS95
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • WS90
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12.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine was grown on the Cleland Vineyard Cambridge Road, Martinborough from 29 year old vines. A combination of deep alluvial gravels which the Martinborough Terraces are renowned for and a blend of Clones UCD 5, 6 and 13 always rewards us with savoury, complex, spicy wine.

This is an outstanding example of classic Pinot Noir. It will continue to develop for up to 10 years and will always be a wonderful counterpart to any game food.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
D 94
Decanter
A synthesis of white pepper and red cherry with a lovely, salty soy edge. On the palate this is full, fluid and a little edgy – but elegant. It retains a spiciness throughout and does not carry an ounce of fat. The pepper and freshness just linger.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
White pepper, sage and forest floor notes upfront lead to vibrant cherry and wild strawberry flavors on a crisp frame, with touches of sarsaparilla and tomato leaf lingering on the finish. The tannins are firm but polished. Drink now through 2028.
JS 94
James Suckling

Earthy, sinewy and savory with a world of spice and fragrant cherry aromas. This has a succulent palate and a wealth of fleshy red cherries and plums with wild herbs and an almost bracken edge. The palate has lithe, juicy and assertively tannic drive. Good weight and depth. Acidity is a feature. Sappy, ripe-tannin finish. Drink in 2022.

RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even more savory and earthy than the other Escarpment wines, the 2016 Kiwa Pinot Noir hints at mushrooms and leather, while the fruit remains in the background. It's medium-bodied but without the concentration and ripeness I expect to find in these wines. It's still an attractive wine with silky tannins and a lingering finish, just somewhat outside the norm at this address.
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Escarpment

Escarpment

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Escarpment, Martinborough, New Zealand
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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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

WWH146834_2016 Item# 415327