Larry McKenna – otherwise known as Larry McPinot – is the man behind Escarpment, having founded it in 1999. Larry and his team now work closely with Australian wine estate Torbreck, who purchased the estate in 2019, to ensure the continued success of the wines. Larry remains head winemaker, bringing his award-winning approach to each vintage.
The vineyards are sited above a natural escarpment sitting above the Huarangarua River on ancient gravels. Overlooking them are the Aorangi Ranges where Maori legend has it that the Polynesian voyager Kupe abandoned 3 canoes. The upturned canoes are still clearly visible, silhouetted along the top of the ridge, and Kupe’s image takes pride of place on every Escarpment label. Escarpment is registered as a Sustainable NZ producer and is currently following a five-year plan to become organically certified.
The deep alluvial gravels of the Martinborough Terraces and a blend of clones grown in a very sheltered spot produce this classic example of New World Pinot. Distinctive, firmly-structured pinot noir with plum, dried herb, wood-smoke and spicy oak flavours. Alcohol and fruit sweetness is nicely balanced by peppery tannins. Needs time to develop its full potential.