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Pyramid Valley, Pastures New : The Scintillating New Collections

Pyramid Valley, Pastures New : The Scintillating New Collections

“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

“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

From the outset, Steve Smith has made it clear that his vision for Pyramid Valley is to seal its place as one of the world’s great producers of cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s fair to say that with the 2019 release Smith and his team wasted little time in this quest. Now, we have the next stage of evolution: to illuminate the distinct personalities and winemaking philosophies behind each wine, the Appellation Series has been split into two collections.


The newly minted Pastures Collection will focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay made in the same earth-to-glass spirit as the Botanical Collection from the Waikari home vineyard. The collection includes the North Canterbury Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the Central Otago Pinot Noir, and soon we will also see a small range of single-vineyard wines from some of the most respected old-vine vineyards in Waipara. When we were speaking with Steve Smith late last year, he made a detailed argument that when it comes to the Burgundian varieties in particular, he believes North Canterbury holds the best set of cards in the southern hemisphere’s deck. The Pastures Collection seeks to articulate the genuine coolness of this unique terroir: its rocky slopes and limestone soils and, now more than ever, the passion of the local winemakers and growers willing to push the boundaries.

The Colours Collection embraces the more exploratory side of Pyramid Valley, styles of wine that have played a pivotal role in the historical identity and success of this producer. So, you can expect things like some skin maceration, whole-bunch ferments on the whites and maturation in amphora etc. The Sauvignon + and the Orange are now part of this collection, and there’s a new toothsome Rosé (Pinot Noir with a splash of Gris). These wines are adorned with artwork symbolising the character of the wine and a print of a flower that thrives in the healthy, mostly organic, soils of the source vineyards. These are delicious, thought-provoking wines.

Last year’s releases elicited an unprecedented response from all quarters of the trade. We can now share that after tasting this year’s line-up, it’s clear more progression has been made by the team as they continue to peel back the layers of their terroirs. The new cellar—completed in time for the 2021 harvest—has also played its role, allowing for ever more precision, while the superb warm and dry vintage of 2020 has provided another level-up in concentration for this Pasture Collection. As a whole, the wines play out with beautiful purity in the glass, exuding both class and personality. They are true expressions of their place and reflective of the foundational philosophies of Pyramid Valley.

All available wines and more information can be found on the Pyramid Valley Producer page.

The Wines

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