Mon Cheval Pinot Noir

Mon Cheval is one of those wineries making incredible wine in North Canterbury, that flies just under the radar. They specialize almost entirely in Pinot Noir and Riesling, both of which are thought to be grape varieties that are able to convey a purity and sense of place. Towards this end, Mon Cheval uses the "traditional" old world wine making methods of no fining or filtration, and the wines, especially their Pinot Noirs, are highly expressive, honest and captivating. Plus, the winery often holds their wines back to age and develop extra complexity, which adds to the truly unique and beautifully "old school" nature of this particular, very elegant Pinot.

In French, “Mon cheval” means “my horse.” Why is this the name of the winery? Well, if you had a racehorse who was so talented and powerful that her winnings gave you the ability to pursue your dream to study wine and then plant and operate your own small vineyard and winery, wouldn’t you try to find a good way to acknowledge her? Naming your winery after her seems like a good way to do that.

Said racehorse, whose name is Under Cover Lover, just by the way, has a happy home on the winery property these days. Alongside 2.2 hectares of Pinot Noir and Riesling, planted on the edges of the famed Weka Pass. If you’ve ever driven through North Canterbury on highway 7, you’ll go right through the craggy, limestone-rich, almost primal-feeling Weka Pass. Stony outcroppings visible even from a moving car, relfect the soil characteristics here–marine limestone, as well as chalky clay–the primay reason for the fantastically lively, structured, energy-filled Pinot Noirs and other wines that come out of this special little area. Owners and founders of Mon Cheval, Deborah & Graham Pearson, planted their vineyard in 2003 on the good advice of experts who identified Waipara/North Canterbury as an exceptional region for cool-climnate wine production. Boy, was that a good idea. 

Another good idea was employing the winemaking expertise of the renowned C.P. Lin–who happens to be one of the few blind winemakers in the world. Lin helped Mon Cheval establish its trademark style of sensitivity to terroir and traditional low-intervention, unfined, unfiltered winemaking techniques. These days, Graham makes the wines, and the whole affair is still roots-driven, with hand tended vines, grape and wines. This Pinot is in a perfect drinking window right now. Harmonious, intense, but elegant with a captivating interplay beyween complex fruit showing beautiful development and seductive earthy caracters. 






About This Wine

Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Pinot Noir
Limestone and calcerous clay
Sustainable, low-impact
Screw Cap
A classic boeuf Bourguignon or creamy, earthy mushroom risotto, or anything with duck or pork