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2009 Escarpment Pinot Noir Kupe Martinborough
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87? Points | International Wine Cellar , September/October 2010

($65) Bright full red. The nose combines pungent high-toned spices and pepper with a liqueur-like ripeness that verges on roasted. Then thick and concentrated in the mouth, with the very ripe strawberry and plum flavors perked up a bit by herbs but coming off as a bit alcoholic. For all its stuffing, there's also a somewhat tired nutty element that gives the finish a dryness. These ten-year-old vines may have gotten too ripe too fast. (Meadowbank Estates, Alexandria VA)

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About New Zealand

New Zealand's ocean-influenced climate--markedly cooler than that of its neighbor Australia--yields wines with admirable fruit intensity and crisp acidity. Fully two-thirds of New Zealand's wine production is white, and more than half of the wine it ships to America is Sauvignon Blanc. The U.S. market has developed a major thirst for these juicy, fresh New Zealand Sauvignons, which are mostly free of oak influence. But New Zealand Pinot Noir, too, is growing...
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Pinot Noir

Adored by critics, prized by collectors, Pinot Noir is one of most tantalizing yet temperamental varietals in the world. For many wine enthusiasts, this is part of the appeal of Pinot -- it doesn't reveal its charms easily. Pinot Noir's virtue also stems from the unique characteristics of the grape. The skins are especially delicate, which accounts for the lighter color and body of finished wine. But, despite the delicacy, the best wines have excellent backbone and...
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