Region: North Canterbury
First Glance: textured and complex top Chardonnay
Pyramid Valley is a true cool-climate gem in North Canterbury, situated half way between the cold ocean on one side and snow capped mountains on the other. Originally started by Mike and Claudia Weersing in 2000, the estate has been fully biodynamic from the get go, and is operated with a great focus on biodiversity, to strengthen the natural resilience of the vines and ecosystem around them. The last vintage of the Weersings was 2016, after which the winery was bought up by the dynamic power-duo of Steve Smith MW and American billionaire investor Brian Sheth. With new investments in both cellar and vineyard, as well as the addition of plots in Central Otago, the future looks bright for this iconic address.
Part of the top-range Botanical Collection, the Field of Fire is a south-east facing block of vines on clay and limestone soils. It is named for the distinctive type of grass that grows wild in the vineyard. It typically gives a lighter expression of Chardonnay, compared to its sibling Lion's Tooth vineyard. The 2015 was made by the original owners Mike and Claudia Weersing, before the estate changed hands. Whole bunch pressed and fermented with natural yeasts, half in clay and half in largely seasoned French oak, where it remained with fine lees for 10 months. As has been the norm here, this is bottled unfined and unfiltered, and shows a slightly hazy appearance. A powerful, scintillating and a deeply textured expression of Chardonnay.