July 9, 2008

Evolution 1.0 : One Down Eleven To Go

This is a 2006 Riesling from Pyramid Valley Vineyards in New Zealand. Like all the wines from their Grower Collection, it's a single vineyard wine, in this case "Lebecca Vineyard." It's an Old World style spatlese (which means the grapes were picked late in the harvest) from a New World producer. And in the interest of full disclosure, I know the people who made it. I am an unabashed fan of their wines.

I've tasted this once before, and enjoyed it. You didn't think I was going to commit the Lab to a box of booze for the next 6-10 years without some prior research, did you? (see my prior post) As it turns out, it was better than I remembered.

This arrives on the palate with a luscious, honeyed texture, supporting bright, green apple fruit. There's a coy, almost elusive, minerality. A tantalizing, feminine acidity ties it all up on the finish. The nose was tight at first, yielding only some green fruit, and fading white flower. Then after 20 minutes in the glass, a briny, perfumed scent took over, something that reminds you of climbing on the rocks at high tide. During the same time, the chalky, mineral elements came out of hiding and swirled around the fruit. This is elegantly integrated wine, with great balance and structure.

I'm not at all sad about having to drink 11 more. Next one in early January.

Ted & Kristen Talley import this into the U.S. through their Terra Firma Wine Co. If it's not available in your neighborhood, they might be able to help you out.


Joe Manekin said...

In the clever words of my friend and former bandmate, I have 'mixed feelings of ambivalence' about Pyramid Valley Wines. I love the Pinot Blanc, think the Riesling is interesting and sort of Mosel like but simultaneously funky and off-putting, hate the Semillon which is all ashen and capsicum (is it warm enough for Semillon there?) and firmly stand in the minority by saying the Pinot Noirs are overrated.

That being said, they are all more thought provoking, intriguing wines than 99% of the other stuff from Marlborough.

J David Harden said...

Hi Joe. In spite of our unwavering devotion to the scientific pursuit of Truth, at the Lab we place a great faith in the notion of a subjective palate. To each his own flavors. Still, I'd like to think it's too soon to pass final judgment on the PVV Pinots. The wines are indeed thought provoking and highly rated, but I'm looking to see how their particular intrigue evolves with a few years in the cellar. And if you'll forgive me a fleeting, grossly pedantic moment... Pyramid Valley Vineyards is in Canterbury.