Escarpment – Truth in Terroir

10-Feb-2011
This year's release of the 2009 vintage single-vineyard ‘Insight Series' Pinot Noirs by Escarpment Vineyard from Larry McKenna demonstrates true terroir in Martinborough. The wines are designed to display consistent behaviour and characteristics that originate from each particular vineyard site, thus supporting the concept and belief of terroir. A number of wine producers have already released single-vineyard wines under this philosophy, notably Villa Maria and Craggy Range. Escarpment Vineyard has shown the strongest case in the Martinborough vignoble, the ‘Insight' wines tasting in a similar fashion through the initial 2006 and then 2008 wines. These 2009s cap off the foundation with their personalities. Essentially, the four top reds are treated identically in their vinification and elevage, thus terroir or site character is the only variable left responsible. For the 2009 wines, Larry McKenna's understanding of each of the sites took another step up, especially with respect to correct ripeness levels and more sophisticated and refined tannin management. They are outstanding wines that deserve to be in all serious wine lovers' cellars. The two Chardonnay wines complete the ‘Burgundian' theme, these being closer to examples from the Cote d'Or rather than the Antipodes. They too are special. www.escarpment.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Escarpment Martinborough Chardonnay 2009
  • Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009

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