Pyramid Valley is one of the most passionate, well respected, principled wineries in NZ. Located in North Canterbury, Pyramid Valley makes brilliant wines from their own home vineyards, but also has long term contracts with several family growers. The Pyramid Valley Cowely Pinot is part of the Grower's Collection and comes from the Cowley family vineyard in Marlborough. Mike and Claudia Weersing established Pyarmid Valley in 2000, but it was a long almost obsessive road to North Canterbury NZ. The road started in California, went to Europe, then all over the world hunting for the perfect land to grow Pinot Noir, and finally ended in the hills of North Cnterbury on New Zealand's south island with Pyramid Valley.
For more read Joe Appel's excellent article here: Search for Perfect Soil leads to Magic
Aroma: dark, rich, woodsey; this smells like very serious developed Pinot Noir. Pyramid Valley's Cowley is great substantial Pinot Noir: there's delicious raspberry as well as a spicy woodsey character and overall it smells rich and developed. The Cowley Pinot's aroma There are no green unripe fruit or leafy aromas which can be off putting and are common in Marlborough Pinot. The closest other type of Pinot I could compare it to is a Pommard, but just from smelling the wine it's clearly a unique expression of the grape. The Cowley smells like serious, deep, developed, and powerful Pinot with pure fruit and just a hint of smoke.
Taste: The Cowley is bright and lively, but also jammy. It seems substantial and has a thick kind of texture for Pinot with a woodsey mid-palate and just a barest hint of bitterness that's great for how it reels balances the fruit. The finish has a nice softer raspberry preserve kind of flavor to it. The fruit is so rich and developed and more specifically tastes of fresh raspberry and strawberry. Something about the character of Pyramid Valley's Cowley is very autumnal to me. This Pinot just smells and tastes like autumn: like the rich sweet roast vegetables and poultry I want to eat. Clear, crisp, defined, juicy, a bit smoky, Pyramid Valley's Cowley is a rich and unusually substantial Pinot. It's delicious and the perfect thing for a beef stew.
Pyramid Valley's Cowely Pinot is available for about $34 at Rosemont's Brighton Ave and Yarmouth locations, Bow St Market, and the Blue Hill Wine Shop.