New Zealand: home to Hobbits, Kiwi birds, and acres of Sauvignon Blanc vines! But did you know that New Zealand grows more than just Sauvignon Blanc? We’re excited to have three new (non-Sauv Blanc) wines from Pyramid Valley Vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand.
Although the Marlborough region is iconic for Sauvignon Blanc, Pyramid Valley produces some spectacular wines made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Semillion. The farming/winemaking team, Mike and Claudia Weersing, have a passion for terroir and natural winemaking. Mike has studied and worked in Burgundy, Alsace, and Spain under well-known winemakers such as Hubert de Montille, Jean-Michel Diess, and Randall Grahm. Their approach is notable in that they farm entirely biodynamically, seek out vineyard sites with perfect soil conditions (mostly clay over limestone), use only native yeasts, do not fine or filter their wines, and use little to no added sulfur – natural winemaking at its best!
Pyramid Valley’s Pinot Blanc vineyard is located in the cool climate of the Waihopai Valley in Marlborough. This cooler region is perfect for growing Pinot Blanc, a grape native to the Alsace region of France. The wine has stunning aromas of honey, caramelized apples, orange peel, and cinnamon. The body is fairly lush with a mouth-coating quality and flavors of orange, custard, and honeyed apples that finishes with great acidity. Since this wine is entirely unfined and unfiltered, don’t be put off by the light haze in its golden color. Rather, think of it as a sign of quality, like the cream-top in Strauss non-homogenized milk. This wine is a perfect pairing for richer dishes such as apricot glazed pork tenderloins – a great alternative to Chardonnay!
Their Pinot Noir Vineyard is located in the hills above the Wairau Valley. Again, a cool climate and perfect soil conditions lend themselves so well to growing Pinot Noir in this area. The nose has aromas of wild spices, like fennel seed, cinammon, and star anise followed by scents of soft red fruits. The body is mid-weight with similar dried herb flavors along with rhubarb and pomegranate fruit. A beautiful and long texture makes this a more substantial Pinot Noir, and one that can certainly stand up to a range of dishes. Try this paired with miso glazed salmon or a lightly spicy vegetable and ginger stir fry!
2009 Pyramid Valley Field of Fire Chardonnay – $49.99
This Chardonnay comes from a very small plot located on clay and limestone soils. The clay and limestone are known to lend a great sense of minerality to Chardonnay, as is seen in the region of Chablis, France. In fact this Chardonnay reminds us of really great Burgundy Chardonnay, like those from Chablis. The nose smells of baked peaches, apples, and pastry dough. The texture is lush but very focused, with flavors of peaches, almonds and lemon curd. Great minerality and acidity make this a perfect pairing for some grilled fish, like halibut with peas and asparagus.