What’s in the glass tonight March 23rd – Pinot Noir


The Edge PN 2016

Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2016 – $$

This is the value tier PN product for this producer.

Peter Richards MW in Decanter magazine included this wine in his February 2018 article “30 great New World buys under GDP30, and rated it 91 points.  He wrote, “brilliant, great value example. Elegantly bittersweet, poised, spicy and engaging.”

14.2% alc. Dark carmine colour.

Aromatic, soft and fruity. Black cherries, savouriness and spice and soap.

Soft in the mouth, with dark fruits and spice evident. A soapy finish and hot. Real generous fruit weight with no bitterness or thinness on the rear palate that I see in other NZ pinots at this price point.

My only fault with this wine is that it is too alcoholic. Loses grace.

Recommended 88 Points

What’s in the glass tonight May 20th – Pinot Noir

Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir 2015

Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – $$

A red wine for the end of my working week, as rain and wind sweeps the streets outside and sends pedestrians scurrying…

Deep blushing pink carmine colour.  13.5% alc.

Ripe red berry aromas, tending jammy.

Sweet in the mouth, very ripe, not much nuance.  Plenty of fruit flavour and intensity – a luscious style of pinot. A bit too simple & direct for my taste.  accessible it may be, but not interesting at all. Little tannin on palate, and with new oak apparent, this is not the cool-climate damsel that I prefer… 84 points.

What’s in the glass tonight May 6th – Catch Pinot

Catch Pinot

Catch Pinot Martinborough Tasting with Joelle Thompson at RW

I rocked up at Regional Wines for a free instore tasting of Martinborough Pinot Noirs hosted by the very engaging and knowledgeable Joelle Thompson, wine writer and journalist.

Catch Pinot is a month-long harvest celebration of red Pinots from Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton in the Wairarapa. 25 wineries are offering their wines through 47 of Wellington’s best eateries, with menus that match the wines. Several local bottlestores are also in on the deal, and the whole shebang culminates in a big Pinot Celebration dinner at Te Papa on May 28.

There was much anticipate at the tasting. I saw my mate GN standing around the barrel, and what with chatting to him, and talking to Joelle, and having a laugh, I didn’t make too many notes. It’s a hard road to a perfect wine review, but someone’s gotta do it!

Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – bright, ripe, one-note

Julicher Estate 99 Rows Pinot Noir Martinborough 2012 – This has the ‘stuffing’ I am looking for, slightly vegetal, floral

Cambridge Road Hillside Project Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – luscious, floral & young; an innovative bottle and label!

Palliser Estate Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 –  serene &  classy in this company

Johner Gladstone Pinot Noir 2014 – Lovely, savoury, peppery

Urlar Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 – poise, density and grace. Best wine of the flight!

What’s in the glass tonight March 23rd

The Edge PN 2013

Escarpment The Edge Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013 – $$

Here is the second label of Larry McKenna, who makes wonderfully fragrant and dense pinots from his vineyard on the escarpment just to the east of Martinborough. I have been lucky to attend a tasting with Larry, and I was just blown away by his Pahi single vineyard pinot noir. Others think his Kupe pinot is one of the finest expressions of Martinborough’s signature wine, and of NZ.

This is a quaffer. The nose is of light red fruit, not pronounced. The mouthfeel is soft, with sweet ripe red cherries. The wine is dense and concentrated. Tannins are subdued.

I would have liked a bit more angularity in the mouth, and message from the nose. 3+

It drank well with the dinner of slow-cooked beef shin and barley.