Contact us
Contact us


Escarpment 2022 Vintage reviewed


ESCARPMENT KUPE PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                  94+ POINTS
The 2022 Kupe Pinot Noir is mouth filling and complex, with gravitas and weight without being heavy. The splay of tannin in the mouth starts right at the very front and fans out through the long finish. It is the most harmonious and intense of the four single-vineyard wines tasted here today, and while I am seriously attracted to the levity and intrigue of the Kiwa, this Kupe is wonderful for different reasons. There’s density, muscle, slow/patient repose and complex nuance in the mouth. It’s a great, distinct wine. Sealed under screw cap. Kupe was picked on March 31. The Abel clone was used. It’s close-planted (this is the last pick from the close-planted vines, which have now been pulled out). It’s on its own roots and planted at a higher density, but it was hit by phylloxera, sadly. The wine was plunged once daily and was on the skins for 30 days. Aging was in 42% new French barriques, with the balance in one- and two-year-old barrels. It was in barrel for 20 months with no racking prior to bottling in December 2023. 14.5% alcohol.

ESCARPMENT KIWA PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                     93+ POINTS
The vineyard for the 2022 Kiwa Pinot Noir has changed since a recent acquisition and change of hands of the original Kiwa block, which is situated in the town of Martinborough. The wine leads with spiced strawberry, cherry, pomegranate molasses, red apple and pink peppercorn. The wine is mineral and spicy, with a spool of finely milled tannin and acid, which feels intimately connected. It’s febrile. There’s a hint of red liquorice and orange rind and tobacco through the finish. Texture really is key to the experience here. While the fruit is red and white, the texture has a grippy, mineral character to it. It’s an intriguing and elevating offset to the fruit profile. This shift in gear midway across the palate makes for complex drinking. Very good. It will be even better in a few years, I’d wager. 13.5% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. Kiwa was picked early on March 27, driven by the weather. There was no hang time in 2022, with no picking at leisure. This is mostly clone 115, with the balance Abel clone and clone 943. Made with 43% whole bunch, the wine spent time in 40% new oak, with the balance in two-year-old barrels and older. It spent 27 days on the skins, plunged daily, and then spent 20 months in oak without racking. It was bottled in December 2023.

ESCARPMENT PAHI PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                  93 POINTS
The 2022 Pahi Pinot Noir is only the second Pahi since 2014 (2020 was the other one), due to a change of ownership of the Pahi Vineyard. The wine has a succulent, chewy texture that is most pleasurable on the mid-palate. There’s red fruit, particularly pomegranate, that melds beautifully with a gentle shortcrust pastry character, pink peppercorns and a hint of clove and arnica through the finish. The ripeness of the wine is evident in a splay of dried red fruits through the finish, specifically goji berries. 14% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. Pahi is a slightly more vigorous block with four hectares. This was made with clones Abel, 5, 115 and 667, and 37% whole bunch fruit was used, with 28 days on the skins. Aging was in 30% new oak (mostly Quintessence), and the balance was one- and two-year old barrels. It was in oak for 20 months without racking before bottling.

ESCARPMENT TE REHUA PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                          93 POINTS
The 2022 Te Rehua Pinot Noir is the darkest in colour, with lashings of brooding exotic spice, black cherries, blood plum and even a hint of pepper-rolled pastrami. In the mouth, the wine is illuminated by fresh acidity; the ripe fruit speaks of blackberries and mouth-filling sweet roasted beetroot and brine. There is a duality of ripe fruit and very fine acidity in the mouth; they sit comfortably within each other’s arms. 14.2% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. Te Rehua was planted in the 1990s, in town, at 1.5 hectares and using massal selection of clones. Normally, it’s the first pick of the vintage, as it’s a warmer site sheltered by hedges—brilliant hedges in New Zealand. Grapes were picked on March 20, where they sat on the skins for 25 days. Made with 21% whole bunch (normally around 50%), it was pressed down to 43% in new French barriques, with the balance being one- and two-year old barrels. It spent 20 months in oak, with no racking prior to bottling.

ESCARPMENT PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                              92 POINTS     The 2022 Pinot Noir is super spicy on the nose, with sumac, blood orange, tobacco, black tea and cherry pip. In the mouth, the wine is light and spicy but intense—the acidity feels like it wraps around the fruit, leading to a fine-boned and red-fruited expression. It’s a beauty. Really elegant but structural. The tannins are ductile and focused. I like the grip and pull of the tannins through the finish. It seems to plume with a coal dust, graphite character. 13.7% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. This wine was made with 24% whole bunch fruit, and 75% came from the Te Muna Road Vineyard, with the balance from town. It was on the skins for 25 days, then spent 11 months in 27% new oak. It was in tank for a further nine months prior to bottling.

ESCARPMENT CHARDONNAY 2022                                                                                           93 POINTS
The 2022 Chardonnay shows a cooler vintage than 2021 which saw lots of rain, not a lot of sunshine and some disease pressure—the start of a wet 2023. This is starkly different on the nose! There’s far less reduction and flint. This is pretty, floral, pure and mineral. In the mouth, this has a sublime quality to it. It’s far sleeker and more polished than the 2021. This tastes far more like a place, this place, than the reduction in the previous wine. It’s great!. Clones 95, 548 and Mendoza were used. 13% alcohol, sealed under screw cap.


ESCARPMENT KIWA PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                      94 POINTS
Focused and vivid with a firmness and linear length as well as strawberry, lemon and stone character. It’s medium-bodied with creamy tannins and a focused and savoury finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.

ESCARPMENT TE REHUA PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                              93 POINTS
Dried flowers with cedar, bark, sage and lavender on the nose, not to mention the strawberries and light cherries. Medium-bodied with focused tannins that highlight the juicy fruit and hints of spices. Some bark and dark chocolate at the end. Drink or hold. Screw cap.

ESCARPMENT PAHI PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                      93 POINTS
A fresh and fine pinot with delicate strawberry and orange peel character. Medium-bodied with fine tannins and a crisp finish. Better in a year or two, but already delicious. Drink or hold.

ESCARPMENT KUPE PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                      93 POINTS
Very pretty aromas with strawberry and peach character as well as fresh rose petals and lavender. Medium-bodied with fine and crunchy tannins and a creamy textured finish. Balanced for the vintage. Drink now or hold.

ESCARPMENT PINOT NOIR 2022                                                                                               92 POINTS
Creamy peach, lemon blossom, dried strawberry and cherry aromas that follow through to a medium body. Lovely fresh, balanced and focused tannins that are nicely polished. Just a bit of bitterness at the end, giving it interest. Very drinkable now but better in two or three years. Screw cap


High praise for the 2022 Escarpment single vineyards from Matthew Jukes. To read the article, click here