Biodynamic. Angel Flower is a cooler, more exposed block than Earth Smoke. The shallow soils and north-facing aspect here result in a more floral and aromatic wine, although the weight and shape of the palate have much in common with Pyramid’s other single-site Pinot. The team have also recently planted a little Chardonnay on these soils, recognising its potential as a great white wine terroir.
Angel flower is the prettiest of many synonyms for yarrow; a grassland and pasture plant with delicate, fennel-like leaves and a brilliant mass of white flowers. Yarrow is the basis of the biodynamic preparation 502 and is strongly associated with mobilising natural sulphur and potassium in the soil. Tasted alongside the Earth Smoke, this is a more delicate and tightly wound Pinot with bright, red fruits (raspberry, redcurrant and red cherry) on both the nose and palate, silky tannins and a peacock’s tail finish that adds salt and brown spice complexity to the mix. A superb, perfumed Pinot of striking purity and class.
Steve Smith and Brian Sheth, with vineyard man Huw Kinch, are the continuation of the brilliant Mike and Claudia Weersing vision at Pyramid Valley. Beautiful, honest wines came from the first two decades at PV and the currency is strong in the continuation, albeit through a different lens. Some of the PV pinots could be pretty wild, loose knit, nourishing and soft in feel, and there’s familiarity here although the screws have been tightened and the gloss is rubbed on.
Scents of stewed cherries, game meat, fennel/anise, bergamot tea, bay leaf. Savoury, for sure. The wine sits sappy and sour-sweet fruited in the palate, it fans out beautifully, it feels satiny before the gummy, pleasingly bitter tannins build through the lingering finish. It’s lively and perky, fragrant and fresh. There’s some echoes of the wilder, idiosyncratic and expressive releases of PV’s past, but here we find slickness and a neater wine. It’s good. Drink 2021-2030. 94 Points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front.