Escarpment Vintage 2020 Single Vineyard Wines


Some say the 2020 growing season in Wairarapa was dreamy; Escarpment Winemaker Tim Bourne said, "The 2020 growing season was a benchmark for us here at Escarpment and will go down as one of the truly great vintages." He continued, "Near perfect weather conditions throughout the growing season meant we got through the frost period unscathed, has an excellent flowering period, followed by fantastic ripening conditions. The wine shows fruit and opulence upon release but has the structure and depth to hold the long term. These will comfortably sit in your cellar over the next ten years if you can hold them that long (I know I can't!)."

Tim is right on; it would be hard to hold them for that long when they're already delicious. The whole range is fine-structured and has an excellent concentration which will improve with ageing, patience will be rewarded.

I particularly enjoyed the Estate 2020, classic Martinborough, excellent balance of strength and stunning floral detail with supple tannin, drinking beautifully now. This wine comprises Pinot Noir parcels across Martinborough, with a majority of fruit from the Te Muna Road sub-region.

Kiwa Pinot Noir's fruit is from an established vineyard located in the township of Martinborough. Vines are planted on a combination of deep alluvial gravels on the Martinborough Terraces with clones UCD 5 & 6. This wine is lifted & perfumed with pretty floral and mineral elements, very elegant and refined.

Pahi is a reintroduced old favourite; the fruit comes from a block adjacent to Escarpment estate on Te Muna Road, planted in 2003 shares the same alluvial, free-draining gravel soils that made Martiniborough famous. This wine is bold and structured with tightly-weaved tannins, fresh acidity and herbaceous details. Very youthful, I would put this one away for a few years.

Te Rehua is a single vineyard grown on the Barton Vineyard, Huangarua Road, Martinborough and planted in the 1990s with many clones on a combination of deep alluvial gravels. This wine is rich with excellent integration and well-structured velvety tannins, a satisfying, comforting Pinot Noir.

Kupe is made entirely from the Home Block on Te Muna Road, first planted in 1999, 100% Abel clone. I expected this wine to have elegance, structure, layers and strength, but it showed more; the energy and freshness of this wine lifted and brightened the richness and complexity. This wine will age beautifully over the next 15 years.

Pinot Noir aside, I had also tasted the Chardonnay 2021, quite a different wine to 2020, which bypassed malolactic fermentation, and the striking acid tension provided focus and linearity.

Expand below to read the full reviews.



  • Escarpment Chardonnay 2021, Martinborough
  • Escarpment Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough
  • Escarpment Kiwa Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough
  • Escarpment Pahi Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough
  • Escarpment Te Rehua Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough
  • Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough

Latest wine reviews, news, events and more. 🍷
We respect your privacy.