Pyramid Valley Lions Tooth Chardonnay 2020

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White, Chardonnay
New Zealand
Year 2020
13.5% Alcohol
by Pyramid Valley

'Biodynamic. Named after the type of grass growing in the vineyard, this densely planted Chardonnay site sits on a southeast-facing, clay-limestone slope, which has been farmed biodynamically from the beginning. Although recently expanded by one hectare, the original plantings cover only a quarter of a hectare. Like its three sibling

Biodynamic. This 0.4-hectare site, like the wine that results, takes its name from the vineyard’s abundance of dandelions (dent-de-lion, or ‘lion’s tooth’ in French). These flowers predominate, apparently, because of the higher clay content in this parcel. It is a steeply inclined, east-facing site on soils that Weersing described as having a “…nut and crumb structure and great mineral fertility”. It’s the classic limestone and clay of the area, but here the higher balance of clay makes it the more vigorous of the two Chardonnay sites.

The winemaking is the same as the Field of Fire, yet the differences in the signature of place are apparent. Indeed, the compelling 2020 Lion’s Tooth shows how a slight change in aspect and soil can impact the finished wine in these edgy, cool-climate vineyards. This too, shows the racy acidity of this vintage, be it a touch softer due to the completion of malolactic fermentation.

Coming from a more exposed block, the aromas feel slightly sunnier than its compatriot, with nectarine and buttercup sitting among the mandarin, ripe lemon and fresh cashew nut. The palate is laser focussed, with savoury and salty undertones and layers of complex flavours—grilled stone fruit, lemons, flowering thyme, oatmeal—beautifully restrained by the wine’s bustling freshness and chalk-hewn energy. It’s a stunning wine that will also repay some time in the cellar.' - Pyramid Valley

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