Pinot Noir, Martinborough

Pinot Noir is a red grape that is one of the most challenging to grow in any part of the world. Due to its thin skin and tight bunches, it is susceptible to both mould and disease. However, when it is successful, it produces some of the most amazing wines in the world. Although its home is Burgundy, it has emerged as a popular variety in Australia. Representing only 1% of grapes crushed, it has built a high profile with a number of world-class, distinctly Australian wines being produced. The greatest examples coming from the cool climates of the Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong and the Yarra Valley.

Pinot Noir performs well on the deepish limestone based subsoils that are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or. However, yields need to be kept in check. Pinot Noir's concentration and varietal characters disappear rapidly if yields are excessive. Some of the best and most expensive wines in the world are still found in Burgundy.

Pinot Noir also plays a key role in Champagne, being blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. In the US, Oregon and Washington state are producing outstanding wines. In New Zealand, great Pinot Noirs are crafted in Martinborough and in Central Otago, New Zealand's only true continental climate.

The thin skins of Pinot Noir mean the wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However, the best wines have grippy tannins, fragrance and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, but as it matures, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouthfeel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey nuances emerging.
The wine region of Martinborough is located in South Wairarapa on the southern end of the north island, and in only 30 years or so has gone from a sleepy colonial town to a world-class wine village.

The region has picked up numerous international awards since the 1990’s with Pinot Noir picking up the lion’s share of the medals. Pinot Noir is undoubtedly the flagship wine of the region, with some incredible wines being produced.

The mineral laden soils, combined with the cool climate provide the perfect backdrop for Pinot Noir, much as it has for centuries in Burgundy, France. Indeed the Pinot Noirs produced are very Burgundian in style, a compliment not adorned to many other wine regions worldwide.

The micro-climate of Martinborough is rather warm, with hills both to the east and west. Most all of the vineyards are located in thin strips around the northern and eastern sides of the town or on the Dry River to the south of Martinborough. All the vineyards follow dry riverbeds, which have the desired soil structure for viticulture.

Although Pinot Noir is the king of the reds, Shiraz is also cultivated and in the whites, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris are grown.
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  1. Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Noir 2017
    "Winemaker Larry McKenna now has 30 years of experience with Martinborough Pinot Noir, and its on full display in this blend assembled from various plots around the village." Wine Enthusiast Wonderful aromatics with cherry and red currant aromas and some earthy ... Learn More
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    Out of stock
  2. Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
    "Winemaker Larry McKenna now has 30 years of experience with Martinborough Pinot Noir, and its on full display in this blend assembled from various plots around the village." Wine Enthusiast Wonderful aromatics with cherry and red currant aromas and some earthy ... Learn More
    pts
    Mike Bennie
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    Out of stock
  3. Escarpment Regional Blend Pinot Noir 2016
    "The product of a warm, dry summer and balanced crop loads, this is a very strong vintage for this iconic Martinborough pinot noir. On the nose, plenty of fresh red cherries and spiced red plums come to the fore. Succulent, ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
    pts
    Wine Spectator
    pts
    Robert Parker
    Out of stock
  4. Domaine Chevrot et Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2017
    From an exceedingly satisfying vintage, a pinot that offers immediate contentment upon tasting. Aligning a multitude of flowers, early season plums and pomegrante with a fluid texture on the palate. Acidity is nonaggressive, owing to the vintages voluptuousness. An ideal ... Learn More
  5. Escarpment 'Kiwa' Pinot Noir 2018
    A blend of Pommard clones that were originally sourced from the University of California. Martinborough from 28 year old vines. Will easily age a decade. ... Learn More
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
  6. Escarpment 'Te Rehua' Pinot Noir 2018
    This wine was grown on the Barton Vineyard, Huangarua Road, Martinborough from vines 25 years old. A combination of deep alluvial gravels which the Martinborough Terraces are renowned for and a blend of many clones grown in a very sheltered spot ... Learn More
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
  7. Escarpment 'Te Rehua' Pinot Noir 2017
    This wine was grown on the Barton Vineyard, Huangarua Road, Martinborough from vines 25 years old. A combination of deep alluvial gravels which the Martinborough Terraces are renowned for and a blend of many clones grown in a very sheltered spot ... Learn More
    pts
    Gary Walsh
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    pts
    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
    Out of stock
  8. Escarpment 'Kiwa' Pinot Noir 2017
    This wine was grown on the Cleland Vineyard Cambridge Road, Martinborough from 30 year old vines. A combination of deep alluvial gravels which the Martinborough Terraces are renowned for and a blend of Clones UCD 5 and 6 always rewards us with savoury, ... Learn More
    pts
    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
    Out of stock
  9. Escarpment 'Kupe' Pinot Noir 2011
    Fermented in wooden French cuvees, hand plunged and aged in 50% new French oak barriques the wine was given every priority during its elevation and now shows all the hallmarks of a grand young wine on its release in 2012. Over the ... Learn More
    pts
    Jancis Robinson
  10. Escarpment 'Kupe' Pinot Noir 2018
    Fermented in wooden French cuvees, hand plunged and aged in 50% new French oak barriques the wine was given every priority during its elevation and now shows all the hallmarks of a grand young wine on its release in 2012. Over the ... Learn More
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
  11. Dry River Pinot Noir 2017
    The nose is very attractive, with a perfume-like finesse and a lighter than usual appearance. A fresh, complex and floral nose shows Christmas lilies, violets and honeysuckle. There are the hallmark, darker Dry River characters of fruit of the forest, ... Learn More
    pts
    Gary Walsh
  12. Kusuda Pinot Noir 2018
    Ranked: #1 Pinot Noir 2018 from Martinborough Hiro Kusuda: From the high-density block (majority 7400 plants/ha) we started to lease in 2011 then purchased after the 2015 vintage. First ever Pinot Noir made from own vineyard. Harvested by hand, 90% de-stemmed, aged in oak barriques ... Learn More
    Kusuda Pinot Noir 2018
    $155.00 Per item
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
    Out of stock
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