From Pyramid Valley Vineyard’s Rapaura vineyard, this is a racy and aromatic white Pinot blend. Complex and curious, the nose is richly yellow, with quince, honey, grain and saline. This is rich but refreshing to taste, with honey mirroring the nose. You will also enjoy notes of butter and sage. Made from handpicked grapes then aged for ten months on lees in French oak.
Originally established by Mike and Claudia Elze Weersing in the Pyramid Valley, North Canterbury, Pyramid Valley Vineyards have long been committed to biodynamic practices that evoke the spirit of place in every wine. Having sold the vineyard, this is one of the final vintages crafted by the Pyramid Valley founders.
Immediately complex aromatics: yellow plum, ripe quince, borage honey, polenta/milled corn, and an enlivening iodine/seashore note. With air, richer and broader, while remaining multifaceted. Also a clean, wet copper coin character. Engaging and seductive. On the palate, opulent and gregarious, lush but detailed, flattering, but in a considered way. Yellow plum and honey again, acacia this time. Also a buttery, puff pastry/croissant character. Luxurious, indulgent, but sage, this is the gnostic siren in our range of wines.
Rich, textural wine with an almost golden hue. A full-bodied and impressively weighty white with honey, pear, quince, vanilla and spicy oak flavours. A distinctive and very complex wine, with a glycerol-like viscosity and very lengthy finish. Very different. A pleasure to taste.
95 points, The Real Review (March 2018)
Beautifully floral and attractive, ripe apples and pears lead to a complex palate that has fresh apple flavor with hints of young Calvados, honey and grilled apples to close.
92 points, jamessuckling.com (October 2018)
MarlboroughArguably New Zealand’s most famous wine region owing to international demand for Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is also the largest wine producing region in the country, comprising 79% of New Zealand’s total wine production. Modern winemaking commenced in Marlborough in the 1970s and from tiny beginnings, the vineyard area has rapidly expanded now encompassing 23,600 hectares. Marlborough is located on the east coast of the South Island, with mountains to the west creating a rain shadow, making it one of the driest and sunniest regions in New Zealand. There are three sub regions in Marlborough, the largest being the Wairau Valley, where most plantings are concentrated on free draining alluvial soils. Viticulture has also spread to the cooler Awatere Valley, also on free draining stony loams and vineyards are also situated in the cooler southern valleys with its silt, gravel and clay soils. The soils across all three regions all have relatively low fertility to help curb the vigour of Sauvignon Blanc vines that dominate Marlborough. Although the region built its reputation on crisp, distinctively pungent unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, there is an increasing trend towards more complex barrel-ferment styles. Light-bodied, fruit driven Pinot Noir is also successful.
‘You may think you know New Zealand wines but I can assure you that until you have tasted Pyramid Valley, you have no idea. When I first sampled the earliest releases from this left-of-center producer, I was so drawn to the signature, ground-breaking if, at that time, not altogether flawless wines that I vowed to pay them a visit as soon as possible (which, given their location, is easier said than done). There was a spark of “otherness” about the wines that was so unlike anything else in New Zealand, it was difficult to say if proprietors Mike and Claudia Weersing were geniuses or mad or mad geniuses. I’m still kinda thinking there’s an element of the latter going on here but at least my first visit in 2011 and follow-up visit this year have confirmed to me that they are most definitely wine geniuses. Having searched New Zealand for their ideal plot of land to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of the very highest quality, the Weersings were tempted by comradery to plant amongst their friends in Central Otago. But it was the unique, clay-limestone soils and scarp slopes near Waikari in North Canterbury that stole their hearts. In 2000 they planted vines in one of New Zealand’s newest and remotest wine regions…so new and remote it still doesn’t really have a name other than ‘North Canterbury’. Claudia is the biodynamic green-thumb and Mike is the Burgundian trained winemaker in this small-scale, hands-on operation. Everything in the fields and winery is as natural as natural can be and anyone who has followed the wines over the years will know, from tasting if not knowledge, that Mike has tested the boundaries of no / low sulfur additions and now seems to have a knack for adding just-enough to ensure stability without compromising the couples’ ethics. The results speak for themselves: astonishingly good, terroir-expressive wines that will challenge all your preconceptions.’ Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, January 2015.