The Escarpment winery and vineyards are sited above a steep cliff carved by the Huarangarua River over thousands of years. The vineyards are overlooked by the Aorangi Ranges. As legend would tell, Maori navigator Kupe abandoned three canoes there after discovering the land now known as New Zealand. The upturned canoe shapes are clearly visible on the skyline high above the winery. Resting on 60 acres of alluvial gravel in the expansive Te Muna Valley hear Martinborough this is really a magical place. Te Muna translates from the Maori language as ‘special place or ‘secret’. Escarpment Vineyard Martinborough Limited is a joint venture between Larry and Sue McKenna of Martinborough, and Robert and Mem Kirby of Australia ( who also own Yabby Lake in the Mornington Peninsula of Australia and most notably, Village Roadshow Productions). The company’s vineyards provide 70 percent of Escarpment’s grape supply. Besides Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling are planted. The winery buildings are modest and inauspicious, standing watch on the renowned Martinborough River Terraces and overlooking the river itself. The barrel room is tucked underground and enjoys cool and humid conditions below its grassy roof.
Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with slight garnet hues. The bouquet is elegant and harmonious with interwoven aromas of ripe, savoury dark-red berry fruit along with notes of blackberries melded with piquant dark herbs and nutty, cedary oak nuances. This has finesse integration, with real depth, and unfolds a little raspberry liqueur. The palate has a refined and tightly concentrated core of ripe, savoury dark-red berry fruit intermixed with a layering of spices, cedar and earth, and subtle dark and dried herb detail, and nuances of nutty oak complexities. The flavours form a fine well-concentrated core with fine tannin extraction providing structure and grip. The acidity is soft and integrated with excellent linearity, carrying to a very long and sustained, rich, savoury and spicy finish.