KUPE Pinot Noir 2018, Escarpment
New Zealand / Martinborough
Andy's Tasting Notes
Larry McKenna’s flagship bottling, still continuing to be superb, regal and sophisticated.
Production notes – The vines which have grown this wine have been Escarpment’s 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 comes. The season was cooler than normal with correspondingly fresher flavours, something Escarpment have been moving towards to gain better balance and elegance. Fermented in wooden French cuvées, 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.
95pts Bob Campbell MW, February 2020
“This complex pinot noir lives up to its flagship status and is clearly the best of Escarpment’s range of 2018s. Moderately intense wine with impressively layered flavours that include floral, dried herb, cedar, mixed spice and and baked-earth characters.”
Price per bottle £39.70
39 in stock
Larry McKenna – otherwise known as Larry McPinot – is the man behind Escarpment. His name goes hand-in-hand with the best quality Pinot Noir from New Zealand.
Escarpment Vineyard was established in 1998 as a joint business venture between Robert & Mem Kirby (of Australia’s Village Roadshow) and Larry & Sue McKenna. Meeting by chance in 1998 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.
The vineyards are sited above a natural escarpment sitting above the Huarangarua River on ancient gravels. Overlooking them are the Aorangi Ranges where Maori legend has it that the Polynesian voyager Kupe abandoned 3 canoes. The upturned canoes are still clearly visible, silhouetted along the top of the ridge, and Kupe’s image takes pride of place on every Escarpment label. After over 21 years’ winemaking experience in Martinborough, Larry is now recognised as defining the terroir of the region with his exciting range of single vineyard wines. In his understated way, Larry told us, ‘I was awarded the George Fistonich medal by the NZ International Wine Show. It’s one of those lifetime achievement things you get when you have been around too long.’ 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. They are currently following a five-year plan to become organically certified.
Food matchMushroom arancini