Pyramid Valley Earth Smoke Pinot Noir 2020

$170.00

The nose of this wine is perfumed with wild strawberries, cherries, crushed dried flowers and streaks of minerals—cool wet stones and damp earth—all gliding onto the palate where a gentle grip of spicy, mineral-smudged tannins are balanced by pristine acidity. Already drinking at its prime, it’s not for the cellar, but it is unadulterated and imbued with the heart and soul. 96 Points – Christina Pickard, Wine Enthusiast

 

This has a very enticing and complex nose with lightly smoky red and purple cherries, freshly ground baking spices and sappy, woody, bracken-like nuances. The palate has a beautifully supple texture with juicy red and black-cherry flavours running long and fresh. Drink or hold. 95 Points – JamesSuckling.com

 

Biodynamic. Pyramid Valley’s Pinot Noir vineyards are densely planted on clay/limestone slopes. Earth Smoke sits on the richer soils of the two; an expansive, east-facing slope with strong, beautifully structured soils comparatively high in limestone. The name here comes from the nickname given to fumitory, a plant of the poppy family that can be found thriving in this 0.85-hectare plot. Although both wines share a familial DNA, the later-picked Earth Smoke is typically the more structured and darker of the two, with more fruit weight to go with its tender, fine tannins. The fruit for the 2020 was carefully hand-sorted, fully destemmed, and fermented wild. Following 21 to 27 days on skins, the juice was pressed and then settled in tank before being transferred by gravity to French barrels for 18 months.

 

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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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