|When to drink|
Pyramid Valley are probably New Zealand’s most exciting “newcomers” of the past few years, making some of the most impressive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays outside Burgundy. Situated about 50kms north of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, their cool climate, high altitude vineyards are based on a mix of clay and limestone soils. The vineyards were planted in 2000 and have been cultivated biodynamically ever since. In 2017 the winery was sold to Steve Smith MW, one of New Zealand’s most accomplished winemakers and formerly the head winemaker at Craggy Range. At 20+ years of age, the vines are now beginning to show their true potential. These are fantastic, single site, terroir-expressive wines and seriously good value alternatives to Burgundy!
“This wine draws on fruit from three properties, all in Waipara. Again, this is a texturally phenomenal wine. Steve and Huw don’t like fining, so there is buoyancy and traction here that breeds stunning weight and a modicum of fruit exoticism. Any exuberance is tempered by raspy, saline acidity that snaps the palate back to order, makes the mouth water and balances the pliant fruit perfectly. This cunning acid line allows this wine to play with more fruit weight and depth than might ordinarily be the case.” 18/20pts Matthew Jukes
“‘Clarity of place is everything’, says director Steve Smith MW, which is why they don’t like very heavy solids in the fermenting juice. The aroma is a sensitive mix of creamy, savoury and spicy. Gentle but noticeable flintiness – a notch above light. More flinty than toasty. Adds to the wine but doesn’t hide the character. Pithy citrus, grapefruit, touch of creaminess, not in the least buttery. Touch of green fruits too, greengage, hedgerow blossom. Lightly
chewy texture, savoury depth. Very salty. Cool climate – breeze from the mountains in the morning and from the ocean in the afternoon – has made its mark here. Very long.” 17/20pts Jancisrobinson.com