Three producers – One vineyard: Pyramid Valley Vineyards interprets Calvert



Mike and Claudia Weersing; thank you! You have provided me with yet a great NZ Pinot Noir discovery.

No, I’m not exaggerating. The list of mind-blowing Pinot’s from New Zealand I’ve had this year, keeps expanding and the variation in style impresses. Kiwi’s know how to treat the tricky grape and although the industry is relative young – especially when compared to more well known Pinot regions – it feels like it’s time to once and for all, acknowledge the country’s fine wine producers on a worldwide level.

Looking back ten or fifteen years; where were Pinot Noir then in New Zealand? Fine examples were produced but today I can’t count the number of excellent interpretations of the grape. That leaves one with anticipation and a wonder; if they’re great today what will they be like in a further ten years? New Zealand is perhaps the most exciting Pinot country to follow the coming years. Start trying them now before they will get world attention and prices goes north!

A wine I’ve really been looking forward tasting was the Pyramid Valley Vineyards interpretation of the Calvert vineyard run by the Felton Road team in Bannockburn.  Only 700 cases made of the PVV version leaving one with this slightly sad feeling it is recommending a wine with limited availability. On the other hand; Pinot lovers knows it’s worth the struggle to track down beauties like this.

Three wine producers – one vineyard. Felton Road runs the Calvert site and co-producers are Craggy Range and Pyramid Valley Vineyards. Mike and Claudia Weersing are actually situated in Waikari, North Canterbury. Here they run their Home Vineyards. Biodynamically by the way, just like Felton Road in Central Otago. Tiny amounts are made of wines I’ve never had the chance to taste – yet. The hunt for Home has however begun!

Thanks to a fearless and quick importer, 132 bottles of the 2008 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Calvert showed up in Sweden recently.

Screw-cap. Thank you! Decanted for a couple of hours to not miss out on anything that would show up first at the last sip. A beautiful bouquet! Seductive scents of cherries, ethereal, floral notes, spices and hints of oak. During the hours followed it keeps expanding and shows impressive intensity on the nose. Not too ripe scents, just elegance.

In the mouth the first I notice is the overall harmony. Nothing sticks out. Pure fruit, seductive acidity and just a slight hint of tannins. Intense and floral with notes of raspberries and dark cherries, wet rocks and a spicy and slightly toasty finish. Long aftertaste. Simply put; purity in a glass!

Calvert is managed biodynamically by the Felton team. Soils are on schist and quartz sand.

The technical details provided by Pyramid Valley Vineyards:

Hand picked, 75% destemmed, thus 25% whole cluster, transferred by gravity to tank. Ambient soak of 3-5 days, warm indigenous yeast fermentation, 27-28 day cuvaison. Natural, spring malolactic. Fourteen months on original lees in French barriques (25% new); bottled unfined and unfiltered on the winter equinox, June 2009. Alcohol 14.3%, pH 3.71.

Man, this is all I look for in a Pinot Noir!

(2008 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Calvert Pinot Noir, Central Otago, 92-93 p)

Where do you live? Availability is the tricky part. My fellow countrymen should however act quickly if they want to taste the wine. Around 40 euro’s and some bottles left. To all other readers; check out the producer’s website for importers around the world.