Since its debut in 2003, this has been one of New Zealand’s top Pinot Noirs, combining power, structure and complexity. Smoky and richly peppery at first, it turns more floral with aeration, and while it’s big in the mouth, it’s also silky in texture. The black cherry, plum, vanilla and spice flavors fan out on the…— J.C.
Impressively big, rich and well extracted, with bold black cherry flavors, but also complex hints of cinnamon and other spices, floral notes and a pleasant herbal tinge to the softly tannic finish. Approachable now, but probably better in 3–4 years. Just 500 cases produced. Imported by Meadowbank Estates.— J.C.
Larry McKenna continues to show his masterful touch with Martinborough Pinot with his latest release. The 2007 is full-bodied and velvety, practically lush in the mouth, and filled with black cherry, plum, cola and sassafras flavors, with additional herbal complexity hinted at on the long, mouthwatering finish.— J.C.
The Escarpment style is always one of ample ripeness, weight and structure, and the 2009 measures up to the winery’s previous successes. Plummy fruit is tinged with a dark chocolate note, while the palate is richly textured, and the finish is long and velvety. Drink now–2018.— J.C.
One of the interesting things about Larry McKenna’s 2008 Pinots is that they show differently every time I taste them. So these reviews are composites of the 2–3 times I’ve tried each one. The Pahi shows big bold fruit but also touches of mineral, herb and subtle spice, while the finish is long and savory.— J.C.
This is like a scaled-down version of the Kupe bottling—or is that one a scaled-up version of this wine? Smoky and peppery notes mark the nose, framing black cherry and plum flavors in a wire cage of cured meats, yet the texture is supple and silky. Drink now-2012.— J.C.
At less than one-third the price of Escarpment’s single-vineyard wines, this is a great Pinot Noir value. Ripe cherries and plums make a full impression on the palate, and while the flavors could use a touch more complexity, the wine offers a big mouthful of authentic Pinot Noir.— J.C.
Winemaker Larry McKenna is a proponent of age-worthy Pinots, and this 2011 reflects his muscular preferred style. It’s chunky in texture, framed by firm tannins and tinged with mocha and dark cherry fruit. Drink 2017–2022.— J.C.