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James Suckling reviews NZ latest vintages

James Suckling has recently reviewed the latest vintages of Escarpment and Greystone’s wines, awarding 98 points to Escarpment’s Kupe cuvée for the second-year running! His full comments and points are detailed below:


2017 Kupe Pinot Noir – 98 pts
This pinot has an x-factor that sets it apart. There’s an almost peppery edge to the violet, blueberry and red-cherry nose with sappy and earthy elements, as well as roasted game and fragrant baking spices. The palate has a very plush, attractive and fresh array of vibrant and detailed pinot fruit on offer. Long and precise.

2017 Chardonnay – 96 pts
This really delivers such impressive, reductive styling and such piercing lemon and grapefruit aromas. It can certainly play on the world stage with the best of them. The palate is succulently fresh, crisp and juicy, offering intense grapefruit pith and layered and sophisticated texture.

2017 Kiwa Pinot Noir – 96 pts
Very attractive perfume, spice and earthy depth here, as well as vibrant, red-cherry and berry aromas. There’s very attractive tautness to this pinot with crisp tannins that define ripe red cherries and red plums in assertive and succulent style. The refined power is striking.

2017 Te Rehua Pinot Noir – 96 pts
Attractive blue fruit, violets and forest-floor earthiness make for an appealing and complex pinot with a soulful attitude. The palate has a very succulent and rich feel with a driving array of ripe and fleshy dark plums and berries, as well as a very plump, juicy core. So much pinot here!

2017 Pinot Noir – 94 pts
This has a very rich, ripe and attractive feel with innate depth that arrives by means of the region, experience and methods in play here. The dark and red cherries and plums are beautifully fresh and vibrant and framed in earthy, sappy notes that add complexity. The palate is intense yet plush. The rich dark cherries are cleverly captured and wrapped in reassuringly long, smooth tannins. Lots to like here!

2018 Pinot Blanc – 93 pts
This is a very attractively fresh, gently complex and nicely concentrated pinot blanc that delivers aromas of lemons and apples with lightly flinty notes. The palate offers a wealth of succulent and zesty lemons. Some apples, too. Smooth, gently nutty finish.


2017 Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir – 96 pts
This is a very complex style with fragrant blueberries, cherries and plums, delivered in a shroud of light, licorice-like spice and black tea, as well as dark stony nuances. The palate arrives as a very fresh and supple array of attractively ripe, juicy and seamlessly layered tannins, carrying such detail and interest. Fresh, long, cherry finish. Fermented in the vineyard.

2017 Pinot Noir – 94 pts
This offers very attractive, blueberry aromas with a wealth of fresh cherries and lightly spicy, earthy and sappy nuances that hover in the background. The palate has very polished, dialed-in texture with smooth-honed tannins, leading the fresh blueberries and cherries long and even.

2018 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc – 92 pts
The immediate complexity of barrel fermentation arrives as a creamy edge, laced with beeswax, pears and apples. The palate has a beautiful sweep of fresh, pear-drop flavor and a sleek, fresh and crisp feel.

2017 Chardonnay – 92 pts
This has a very rich and complex feel with ripe, glossy, peach aromas, leading to a palate that has very fleshy and ripe, smooth texture and peaches from start to finish.

2017 Nor’Wester Pinot Noir – 91 pts
This is a dark-fruited, rich and succulent, cherry-flavored pinot that has immediate appeal and delivers so much rich, fresh cherry flavor in a simple, drinkable guise.