2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Lion's Tooth" Chardonnay North Canterbury New Zealand (Biodynamic)

SKU #1126617 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Lion’s 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+)  (10/2011)

K&L Notes

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 Lion’s 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 Lion’s Tooth offers that weird transit from vineyard to bakery/butchery. I like them equally, and especially, for their differences."

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Price: $49.99
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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/30/2013 | Send Email
It's a reflection of how serious and talented a winemaker Mike Weersing is that he can make such a delicious Chardonnay, serious yet crowd pleasing at the same time. Rich yellow apple and pear flavors show volume and intensity, as well as balanced acidity and length on the finish.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/8/2013 | Send Email
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Fantastic Chardonnay. This wine has a real drive and energy, I believe owing to Biodynamic viticulture and the hands-on love and attention Claudia and Mike give to their tiny home block of vines! This wine shows rich orchard fruits, poached pears and some depth given from a lovely grain or barley character which I can only assume is from a healthy dose of sur lie ageing. This is quite a rich wine but a bright acidity keeps all that texture and power taught, linear and focused. Treat this wine like a good white Burgundy and it will reward you in kind. This really shows the potential of New Zealand to produce top class Chardonnay.
Drink from 2013 to 2020

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.