Pyramid Valley Angel Flower Pinot Noir 2020


The nose here is a touch more delicate and savoury, with, according to Steve Smith, “the most pristine, intoxicating Angel Flower aromas I have ever experienced.” Cherry pastries, wild forest in the summer, red clover, lavender and a lick of hoisin. It immediately feels ripe, but from a cool place with autumn raspberries, early season red cherries and hints of clove and nutmeg. Underneath, there’s a fascinating blood orange note accompanied by summer berries and a savoury twist from the forest, while svelte tannins and thirst-quenching acidity give this a proper frame for aging. It’s simply dazzling and startlingly long, too.


Biodynamic. Angel Flower is the prettiest of many synonyms for yarrow, a grassland and pasture plant with delicate, fennel-like leaves and a brilliant mass of white flowers. Yarrow is the basis of the biodynamic preparation 502 and is strongly associated with mobilising natural sulphur and potassium in the soil.

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Pyramid Valley

In 2000, after what must have seemed like an interminable search via Burgundy and back, Claudia and Mike Weersing found just the slice of heaven they were after on New Zealand’s South Island. From the very beginning the vineyard has been biodynamic and the wines crafted with absolute attention to detail and minimal winemaking influence.

North Canterbury is cool and, unlike much of the South Island, stays cool which very much defines the wines. Oak is used widely, mostly old, imparting only subtle flavour and tannin. Amphorae is also widely used, which enables a shorter maturing time and the preservation of freshness, part of Pyramid Valley’s signature style. Additions, well there are none, save for the life preserving gift of sulphur.

Friends Brian Sheth and Steve Smith bought and took over the property in 2017 and this has seen a shift in style towards transparency, purity, intense flavours and invigorating freshness. The wines have become more high toned and mineral, the fruit fresher, more tangy than sweet.

The richest wine is the Central Otago Pinot Noir – lavish and curvy, but with a chiseled refinement unmatched in the region, except for Rippon. Vibrant, intense, chiselled, high-toned, with precise layers of texture, minerality, umami, flowers, spices and herbs. The tannins are long, savoury and fine and very present, framing the wine and balanced with the wine’s naturally high acidity.

Pyramid Valley now releases three collections annually. The emblematic, 100% estate Botanical Collection is released on allocation each year. The Appellation Collection sees Pyramid Valley working with a roster of exceptional growers in North Canterbury and Central Otago. This collection is the Pyramid Valley’s negociant arm – a vital part of this project, with the aim to create a set of wines that share the same sense of somewhereness as the wines from the home vineyard. Finally, the Colours Collection comprises the Sauvignon+, Orange and Rosé.

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