Online Exclusive: Escarpment

Retail Team | April 13, 2024

Many credit Escarpment, long led by the inimitable Larry McKenna, with helping to establish this southern, sunny corner of New Zealand as a source of world-class wines – especially Pinot Noir.

Here, in cool-climate Martinborough, Larry and his partners applied a Burgundian model to densely-planted vineyards, seeking single-site expressions that display characteristic restraint, complexity, and savory-inflected richness. Estate plots occupy the area’s prime terroir, alluvial gravel terraces, and are treated to long growing seasons that elicit tempered ripeness and soft tannins.

Sotheby’s Wine is thrilled to share this online exclusive, featuring a collection of Escarpment’s signature single-vineyard Pinots as well as a radiant Chardonnay.

Larry’s calling card is whole-bunch fermentation, employing up to 50% to 60% whole clusters in warmer seasons, lending the wines structure and peppery depth. Aging in French oak barriques, usually around 40% new, finishes the wines off with luscious polish. The 2020 Kupe Pinot – from a block planted in the year Escarpment was founded, 1999 – impresses with power and fine herbal detail, releasing gorgeous notes of rosemary, spice, and forest floor.