Selected for the 2019 Fine Wines of New Zealand List
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"This is the twelfth release from The Escarpment Vineyard’s close planted vineyard on Te Muna Road, Martinborough.
The vines which have grown this wine have been our pride and joy since being planted in 1999. The spacing of 1.5m * 1m (6,600 vines/ha) is approaching the planting densities used in Burgundy from where the inspiration for this wine originates. The season was warm and drier than normal for this block. It has created fruit harvested in brilliant condition giving ripe flavours and soft tannins. The summer was as good as the inspirational 2013 vintage.
Fermented in wooden French cuvees, hand plunged and aged in 50% new French oak barriques for 18 months. It was bottled without fining or filtration, promoting soft mouth feel and balance.
The wine was given every priority during its elevation and now shows all the hallmarks of a grand young wine on release in 2018. It is at the vanguard of Pinot noir style in the New World and should age gracefully for up to 10 years. The wine is a true reflection of both Martinborough’s unique terroir and the skills and experience of winemakers Larry McKenna and Huw Kinch."
5 Stars & 19.5/20 (98) Raymond Chan, April 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Full, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and refined in expression with excellent depth and concentration, opening seamlessly in volume, showing ripe black cherry and berry fruit entwined with an amalgam of dark herbs, whole bunch stalk elements and black minerals. The nose unfolds nuances of spices and violet florals with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has powerful and intense, deeply concentrated and mouthfilling flavours of succulently sweet and rich, ripe black cherries and blackberries, intermingling with black minerals, subtle notes of dark herbs and nuances of whole bunch stalk perfumes. The fruit is complexed by spice and floral detail, and is balanced by fine-grained tannin structure with bright acidity providing plenty of energy and tension. This has brilliant vitality, richness, drive, along with underlying power. The flavours carry to a very long and sustained finish. This is a rich, succulently concentrated Pinot Noir with ripe black fruits, dark herbs, minerals and complexing detail on a well-structured, mouthfilling palate. Match with grilled and roasted game meat dishes over the next 8-10 years. The twelfth release of the ‘Kupe’ from vines close-planted in 1999 at a density of 6,600 vines per ha. Hand-picked fruit, Abel clone, indigenous yeast fermented with 70% whole bunches to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barriques."