Pyramid Valley Vineyards 'Lion's Tooth' Chardonnay 2012
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This is a white wine imagePyramid Valley Vineyards 'Lion's Tooth' Chardonnay 2012

 
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Wine Advocate 95
"Only just released, just 125 cases were made of the 2012 Lion's Tooth Chardonnay. The cooler year shows on the restrained, youthfully shy, citrus laced nose, revealing notes of grapefruit peel, slate and lovely earthiness with a faint waft of florals and nutmeg. Very taut, elegant and fresh in the mouth, it is a delicate wine of great tension and minerality finishing with long-lasting lemon pip and chalky notes. 95+ points. You may ... read more
This is a white wine
Item ID: #18096
Size: 750mL (wine)
Closure: Cork

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Wine Advocate 95
"Only just released, just 125 cases were made of the 2012 Lion's Tooth Chardonnay. The cooler year shows on the restrained, youthfully shy, citrus laced nose, revealing notes of grapefruit peel, slate and lovely earthiness with a faint waft of florals and nutmeg. Very taut, elegant and fresh in the mouth, it is a delicate wine of great tension and minerality finishing with long-lasting lemon pip and chalky notes. 95+ points. 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... 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... The results speak for themselves: astonishingly good, terroir-expressive wines that will challenge all your preconceptions."~LPB

" Brilliant, pale gold.
From a freshly opened bottle, begins somewhat reluctantly: but there’s a host of golden scents – hay, marigold, rape flower, a hint of saffron, and a clean metallic note, like a wet copper coin. With air, the nose both deepens and freshens, with emergent, sweet floral scents, white hedgeflowers – hawthorn especially. Also a light, leesy note, like cornmeal grits.
Dense, almost crystalline on the entry, and implosive, a tourniquet of citrus, salt and chalk. This then rushes and unfurls, fanning and expanding, with notes again of Meyer lemon and saffron salt. There’s clarity and content and precision, but above all, urgency, propulsive force. Really quite unrelenting on the finish. " ~ Winery notes

Pyramid Valley Vineyards

Pyramid Valley VineyardsWine to us is a genie, genius loci; our job is to coax it from its rock to bottle. Every gesture we make, in vineyard and winery, is a summons to this spirit of place. Biodynamics, hand-based viticulture, low yields, natural winemaking – these are some of the means we've adopted better to record and transmit this voice.

For example, all of our wines are fermented with their own yeast starters, cultured every year, from the vineyard itself. If wine is meant to be the bottled breath of a certain place, from a certain moment in time, then we feel that working with yeasts from that site, of that season, is an important step towards transparency and authenticity. Our cultures allow very long, very regular ferments: most of our whites ferment for more than a year. During this time, the wine is protected, so no sulphur is necessary. After so long a ferment, the wine is stable: thus most of our wines are bottled unfiltered, again with little or no sulphur.

Each wine is allowed to flower as it wishes. If the Pinot Blanc stops with 4 grams RS, so be it. If the Gewurztraminer ferments to dryness, that is its choice. As my friend and hero Edmond Vatan once replied when I asked him about malolactic fermentation, "Pwah, le malo, si ca se fait, ca se fait.
So, at home we've sponsored a marriage of clay-limestone soils to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, hoping to bring to the wine world a special, new place-voice. With the Growers Collection, we are allowed to work with admired colleagues, and with sites, soils, varieties different than those at home. All of our wines are devoted to people and place; all bring rich rewards of community.

The home vineyard has been established according to rules that Mike grew to respect and inherently to trust during his time studying and working in Burgundy: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have been planted, on clay-limestone soils on scarp slopes, at a density of 10,000-12,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard has been biodynamically managed from inception.

Each block is planted to reflect a specific soil type hence the somewhat irregular looking blocks. In total we have only 2.2 hectares planted in 4 separate blocks. The differences you can taste reflects the soil and climatic differences between each block, which is never more than 400 metres at most. We vinify each block and variety separately but identically in a mixture of old oak and clay amphorae so the outside influences on the grape are minimised.

The blocks themselves were named by Claudia after the weed varieties predominant in each, which also reflect the different soil. The Angel Flower is a more exposed block, north facing that reflects a lightness, delicacy and an ethereal scent. The Lions Tooth with its golden dandelions and obvious lime rich soil shows a rich golden colour with a toasty sulphite nose. The Earth Smoke is heavier clay, with a denser, wild, gamey outcome. The Field of Fire slopes away to an eastern aspect and into the heaviest clay and makes typically a green-hued delicate wine.

Today, we are fully certified Bio dynamic. Our cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats and vineyard family share in the journey of Bio dynamics and benefit from the gifts it gives.

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