2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Lion's Tooth" Chardonnay North Canterbury New Zealand (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $40)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Lionís Tooth Chardonnay has expressive lemon curd and orange blossom aromas with hints of pineapple, buttered toast, meal, ginger and chalk dust. Concentrated in the mouth with a medium-full body and excellent mid-palate richness, it has refreshing acidity contrasting the silken texture and lingering long into the finish. Drink it now to 2016+. (91+)
Winery Notes: "20hl/ha from this steeply inclined, east facing home block. Gorgeous soils, with nut and crumb structure and great mineral fertility: 30% clay, 15-20% active lime. Again, biodynamic from inception. Early May pick, whole bunch pressed; no settling, no SO2. Vineyard yeast ferment of 15 months, in used French oak, primarily 450-500L puncheons. Natural, spring malolactic. Eleven months on lees in barrel, then transferred to a variable capacity tank for a further 9 months; bottled unfined and unfiltered in December 2011. Alcohol 14.5%. Production: 100 cases. More golden yet, still bright and brilliant. More complex, fermentative aromas: less fruit and leaf and flower than the Field of Fire, rather popcorn, brioche, grilled nuts. Clearly, deliberately, no differences in the making between the two wines. For some reason, the Lionís Tooth is always reductive during ferment, so often shows more gestational, less spontaneous, than its sibling. Similar complex layers on the palate. Somehow the Field of Fire always seems born of grapes, while the Lionís Tooth offers that weird transit from vineyard to bakery/butchery. I like them equally, and especially, for their differences."