Pyramid Valley Springs Chardonnay 2020 (6 Bottles) New Zealand

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This first release shows all the exhilarating qualities of Waipara x Pyramid Valley DNA, with focused, reductive aromatics, exuberant acidity and superb, fleshy balance. Flavours of ripe orchard fruit, blossom, toasted hazelnuts and hovering salty minerals glide across the palate, stretching towards a refined, chalky finish. Pure quality. No hurry to drink here.

Waipara’s Springs Vineyard is home to a single plot of 40-year-old vines, thought to be some of—if not the oldest—in the country. The own-rooted Mendoza clone vines bury deep into the Omihi clay soils, and the age of the vines is far from the only attraction here.

Sheltered by the Teviot hills from the prevailing, cool easterly winds, the site’s relatively high midsummer warmth, combined with low rainfall during the growing season, makes for a unique location in a marginal climate. The set of conditions has not been lost on the minds at Pyramid Valley, which has been leasing and managing this vineyard since 2019 (without synthetic chemicals or fertilizers).

The grapes from 2020 were foot-stomped in the original shed, then whole-bunch pressed. The juice fermented wild on full solids before spending 12 months on lees before it was racked, blended and aged in old puncheons on fine lees for another six months over a second winter. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered in September 2021.

“Intense, dense, fruit-forward wine with an appealing savoury edge that helps to build impressive complexity.” 96 points, Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review

“A bit of reduction on the nose blows off with air and reveals aromas of meyer lemons, rosemary and white tea. Full-bodied with lovely texture and depth. Complex and layered with persistent length. Citrus turns slightly nutty and herbs are colored by subtle earthy spice.” 94 points, James Suckling

“There is a considerable volume of fruit here, and it is leaning into a more assertive stance and yet the mineral backbone is breath-taking and, yet again, the balance is sensational. This daring wine triumphs with a terrifically long and refined finish.” 18.5/20 points, Matthew Jukes



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