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Escarpment Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
  • WE94
  • WS93
  • BH91
13.8% ABV
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • WE91
  • RP90
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13.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Perfume, elegant fruit flavors, and soft ripe tannins are all hallmarks of this exceptional Pinot Noir.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
#58 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 of 2016

Winemaker Larry McKenna now has 30 years of experience with Martinborough Pinot Noir, and its on full display in this blend assembled from various plots around the village. Aromas of flowers, tea and cola lead into flavors of blackberries, vanilla and spice, framed by ample tannins. Drink 2020–2030.

WS 93
Wine Spectator
Pure and expressive, with juicy raspberry puree and fleshy cherry flavors that are crisp and vibrant, showing accents of clove, nutmeg and black pepper. Earl Grey tea details linger on the finish. The tannins provide a firm backbone. Drink now through 2026.
BH 91
Burghound.com
This was initially somewhat reduced though I let it sit for 20 minutes and that's all it took to lift the mild funk and more fully reveal the somber but nicely complex dark pinot fruit, spice, briar and earth scents. There is both fine density and power to the robust, even slightly rustic broad-shouldered flavors that possess solid depth and excellent length on the dusty, palate coating and ever-so-gently warm finale. This rough and tumble effort has the stuff to reward at least a decade or more worth of cellaring though it should be approachable after half of that. Worth checking out.
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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. 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.

WWH141750_2014 Item# 166149