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The Escarpment Vineyard, Martinborough, New Zealand promises some of the very best of tomorrow's definitive New World Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. With respected winemaker Larry McKenna applying his distinctive skill to what he does best - making premium wine - the result is some of NZ's most layered, flavoursome and complex wines.

This has excellent depth and concentration allied to perfumed lift and complexity. Medium-full bodied, the palate is succulently rich with ripe black cherry and black-berried fruits along with aromatic dark-red, violet and black florals, underlined by subtle whole cluster stalk and dark herb detail. The palate has freshness and vibrancy with lacy acidity along with fine-grained tannin extraction and structure. As the wine flows, the acidity lifts the fruit aromatics and enriches the sweetness. This has power, vitality and energy, and carries to a sustained, succulent, complex finish. This is a beautifully rich, vibrant and powerful, but impeccably balanced Pinot Noir with aromatic black fruits and subtle layers of complexity. Rating: 19.5+/20.0; Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Pinot Noir is, I think, the grape where personal taste and foibles come into play the most. This is my favourite of the five 2015 Pinot releases from Escarpment. Here’s a wine with a bit of the old ‘X-Factor’. Bold perfume of flowers and dried herbs, liquorice and dark fruit, brandy snaps, lavish spice. Medium bodied, almost an airy feel in the mouth, but grounded by firm black tea tannin and minerality, beautiful clear acidity, and a long perfumed finish. Tasted: May17; Alcohol: 14%; Price: $70; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2018-2030+; Rated: 95 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front


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