2020 Pyramid Valley Earth Smoke Pinot Noir
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2020 Pyramid Valley Earth Smoke Pinot Noir

North Canterbury, NEW ZEALAND
$165. 00
$1980.00 Dozen
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Stelvin

Driven to create one of the new world’s great cool-climate vineyards, it took Mike and Claudia Weersing 15 years and a quixotic global journey that included a lengthy stopover in Burgundy before they found their perfect site. Inspired by the climate and soils of that region, the duo finally found their special place in the limestone-rich soils of Waikari in North Canterbury. From here Mike and Claudia established Pyramid Valley and emerged as NZ pioneers of both biodynamic practices and high-density viticulture. For almost 20 years they inspired and/or challenged all those who came into their orbit. Their minute scale and exceptional dedication to their soils and vines led to some incredible wines being produced. First visiting the vineyard in 2007, Steve Smith MW (then of Craggy Range) was one of many affected by what he describes as one the most compelling and unique vineyards he has ever visited. When Mike’s health went into decline, the Weersings were forced to sell and Smith and his partner Brian Sheth acquired the estate in late 2017. The spectre of Burgundy is writ large over the foundation and ethos of Pyramid Valley, yet we should not expect imitations in terms of the style of the wines. Rather they have their own very distinctive style and energy, and this is precisely as it should be with terroir-driven wines; uniqueness is the point.

Both of 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 that are 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.

Other Reviews....
The 2020 Pinot Noir Earth Smoke is a massively different wine from its stablemate Angel Flower, giving a more expansive wine that blossoms in the mouth without any sense of weight. There's elegance and sense of precision. And do you know what? It feels special. If I were tasting blind, aromatically, I'd think it were a cool climate Syrah with sandalwood, fennel, agave and white pepper characters in abundance alongside pure cherry fruit. The finish is fresh and precise. Drink 2024-2035.
96 points
Rebecca Gibb MW - Vinous

Rosehips, wild strawberries, rosemary, oyster shells, peppercorns, violets and thyme on the nose. Wonderfully fragrant and expressive, with tight tannins and vibrant acidity. Delicious peppery, lightly stemmy notes. Lots of tension. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
95 points