What’s in the glass tonight October 27th – Pinot Noir


Escarpment Kupe 2013

From the Cellar: Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 – $$$

The flagship Pinot from one of Martinborough’s most experienced winemakers. I have been to many Escarpment tastings, and bought wine following each one. This bottle was one of those, liberated from the cellar to see what development there was after 5 years.

Deep ruby colour. 13.5% alc.

On the nose the wine showed heady, savoury, luscious and dense aromas. There was a subline character to the nose with scents of boxwood, soft red fruit, lanolin, licorice and dark red roses.

The palate told a shorter story: a sweet entry with a bitter finish. It seemed astringent, thin, metallic and hollow. There were red fruit there, but not enough flavour to balance the drying tannins. Finished somewhat long, but it didn’t improve on standing. The nose stayed firm however.

Had this wine “tunnelled”? I have had a couple of disappointing cellar experiences with the Escarpment wines I have bought for the Pool Room, including a Pahi tasted last year. They show so well on release. Had I opened them too early? Or are they not built for the long term? Don’t know, but I have to say I was saddened. I was hoping for this wine to be tremendous. I’ll keep the second one another couple of years and see how it fares.

Recommended 86 points

Straight to the Pool Room – October 2015


Pool Room Oct 2015

Bought following the Escarpment Martinborough tasting. A brace of the last few bottles remaining from the vintage…

Escarpment Vineyard Kupe Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 – $$$+ – drink 2015-2023. A superb wine. The highlight of the tasting. Such power and density!

Notes from the website: “This is the ninth 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 comes. The season was warm and drier than average for this block. It has created fruit harvested in brilliant condition giving ripe flavours and soft tannins. At the time I said I’d waited 30 years for this 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 texture. The wine was given every priority during its elevation and now shows all the hallmarks of a grand young wine on release in 2015.

It is at the vanguard of Pinot noir style in the New World and should age gracefully for up to 10 years”