Escaroth Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020
Single Vineyard: Escaroth Vineyard
Subregion: Taylor Pass
Soil Type: Low-vigour ancient clays
Clone: Dijon clones 777 and 115
Viticulture: Dry-farmed and NZ Sustainable Winegrowing Certified
Growers: Andy and Kyna Laurie
Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) Certified
Escaroth Vineyard is a site that truly reflects vintage variation: this year's release simply ticks all the boxes for Pinot Noir fanatics. It has a beguiling, complex perfume that treads both red/blue fruit and an enchanting spice, game and earthy savouriness. The very low-yielding vintage (4.6 t/ha) coupled with the dry-farmed nature of the site has resulted in incredible concentration and intensity.
2020 was the second drought year in a trio (2019 - 2021), all of which demanded the use of whole-bunch to ensure balanced extraction and lifted aromatics. The result is a very complex, savoury Pinot Noir with a structured yet elegant tannin framework. As this wine is bottled without filtration, a small amount of natural sediment may form with time.
97 Points - Outstanding "A perfumed, complex bouquet with aromas of roses and ripe cherry, a soft raw sugar and baking spices scent with a core of silty soil minerality. Equally complex with a firm yet finely textured mouthfeel, harmonious synergies between fruit, minerality, tannins and acidity. With each taste the complexity expands with flavours of cherry and plum, forest berries and wild flowers. A Grand Cru level wine with a delicious, layered, perfumed, youthful and long. Best drinking from late 2022 through 2030+." Cameron Douglas MS, October 2021
95 Points - "From a dry-farmed vineyard in the Taylor Pass and one of the driest vintages on record. Dense, concentrated wine with floral, cherry, berry and dried herb flavours. A powerful, firmly-structured wine that is built for the long-haul." Bob Campbell MW, November 2021
95 Points - "Saturated with dense, ripe fruit. A little note of reduction, some savoury oak spice and flavours of crushed rosemary and red plum give a compelling multi-layered character. A silken texture with a ripe, powdery tannic grip." Jane Skilton MW | Gourmet Traveller WINE, January 2022
17.5 Points - "Colour is a little lighter and more smudgy than in the Settlement 2019. And there’s much more lifted red-fruit scent and prettiness. The slightly herbal stemmy note shows more than on the Settlement, though it is well moderated to match the fruit, even if there is a hint of capsicum, which some Pinot lovers may not want. Juicy, deliciously stemmy in its fragrance and freshness on the palate, the zippy, fragrant fruit and whole-bunch technique perfectly matched to bring harmony and refreshment. Vibrant, mouth-watering, long. Utterly different from the more powerful Settlement. More like top-notch Hautes-Côtes in build and style. Julia Harding MW | JancisRobinson.com 27/01/22
5 Stars - "The fragrant, silky-textured 2019 vintage (5*) was harvested from ultra low-cropping (3.2 tonnes per hectare), 18 year-old vines at Taylor Pass, in the Southern Valleys. Deep ruby, it is full-bodied, with deep cherry, plum and spice flavours, a herbal twist, fine, supple tannins, and excellent complexity and harmony." Michael Cooper, February 2022