Pyramid Valley North Canterbury Orange 2020 (6 Bottles) New Zealand

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Stelvin. 87% Pinot Gris, 7% Muscat, 4% Riesling and 2% Gewürztraminer. Sourced from two vineyards in North Canterbury, the grapes for this “paean to the previous owners of Pyramid Valley” (Gary Walsh) were drawn from the Porters vineyard in Waipara (Pinot Gris) and the Three Sisters vineyard (Riesling), while the Muscat and Gewürz came off Domett clay soils.

The entirety of the fruit was whole-bunch fermented in 1,000-litre open-tops for up to 21 days, and then pressed and aged in old barrels and clay amphora for six months, prior to being bottled (unfined and unfiltered).

If this is the future of PV Orange, count us in. Textural but light-footed, this is so moreish with engaging, somewhat exotic fruit balancing out the discrete nutty oxidative notes. Mouth-watering, powdery grip keeps everything tangy and fresh.

“A paean to the previous owners of Pyramid Valley, Mike and Claudia Weersing; legends of NZ wine and such wonderful people. A skin contact Pinot Gris here, unfined, unfiltered, with minimal sulphur. Lipton Ice peach tea, orange rind and Japanese pickled ginger, slightly musky, dusty and peppery. Juicy peach and apricot flavours with a layer of spice and gentle nutty umami character, subtle white pepper tannin, a freshening juicy orange tang, and a perfumed finish of excellent length. It’s a clean, refreshing and beautifully turned out version of orange wine, and lovely to drink. I’m going to guzzle it.” 93 points, Gary Walsh, The Winefront

“Oh, if only all orange wines were as downright delicious and as beautiful as this. Predominantly pinot gris, with some muscat, riesling and gewurz thrown in for fun, fermented as whole bunches for three weeks and then aged in old barrels and amphoras for six months. Glowing amber colour, bright, juicy spicy citrus aromatics, slippery then gently tannic in the mouth. Wonderful.” Max Allen, Australian Financial Review



About Pyramid Valley

“You may think you know New Zealand wines but I can assure you that until you have tasted Pyramid Valley, you have no idea. The results speak for themselves: astonishingly good, terroir-expressive wines that will challenge all your preconceptions.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

“If New Zealand has created a finer Pinot Noir than these two single-vineyard wines from Pyramid Valley Vineyards, I haven’t tasted it.” Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator (2010 vintage)

“Sometimes you taste a wine for the first time and it’s so fabulous, so new, so different, that you’re overwhelmed by a desire to visit the vineyard where the grapes were grown.” Max Allen, The Australian Financial Review

“Benchmark New Zealand vineyard and wines. If not a yardstick for chardonnay and pinot noir globally. No joke.” Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

We’re delighted to offer the first release from Pyramid Valley’s Museum program. If you’re new to the story, driven to create one of the new world’s great cool-climate vineyards, Mike and Claudia Weersing established this iconic vineyard in 2000. It would be an understatement to say that the Weersings chose their site well. Nestled in the rocky escarpments of Waikari, North Canterbury, the limestone-rich slopes and extremely marginal climate—more continental than the average New Zealand wine growing region—result in slow-ripening fruit and mineral-rich wines. The tiny yields guarantee an intense expression of place. From here, the duo emerged as NZ pioneers of both biodynamic practice and high-density viticulture.
2016 was the last vintage made by Mike and Claudia Weersing before they were compelled to sell the property (to Steve Smith MW and his partner Brian Sheth) in late 2017. The new owners’ blueprint has been to honour the founders’ vision and build on the authenticity and integrity of the estate. It is only fitting that the first release from the newly established museum program hails from a rock-solid Weersing vintage.
From a warm and dry season, Weersing’s ’16 Pinot Noirs were cropped at a typically low yield of 32 hl/ha. Yet these were never wines of knuckle-duster power. Instead, the cool nights and rocky, acidic soils of Pyramid’s terroir, and the delicate vinifications employed have ensured wines of exceptional balance and vivid freshness.
You only need to read Mike’s own tasting notes, penned in 2018, to recognise his enthusiasm for his 2016 Pinot Noirs. He wrote that the Angel Flower was “a head-spinning, aromatic ride”, while the Earth Smoke “seems to be marrying fruit succulence to its established, adamantine, soil-sponsored clout”.
We’re pleased to report the wines have also aged beautifully. Alongside fine detail, silky elegance, and fruit purity, both Pinots are revealing quintessential developed flavours of five-spice and hoisin, while the tannins have melted to gossamer elegance. The wines are driven by their sites’ fresh, enveloping acidity and are, in short, loaded with personality. In other words, both wines are in the zone. We’d add, do not be scared to decant; the more air they see, the more layers are revealed and, with them comes more complexity—we can think of many Burgundies at the same price that wouldn’t come close for quality and enjoyment.

Wines By Cellars