Mon Cheval – Current Releases


I've known Mon Cheval, a micro-producer in the Waipara Valley, for quite a few years and the 2010 La Char has always been one of my favourite Pinot Noirs.

Mon Cheval is named after the champion harness racehorse ‘Under Cover Lover' whose success enabled the establishment of the Pearson Estate by Graham and Deborah Pearson. They purchased the estate with land at the entrance to Weka Pass in 2001. The vineyard is 2.2 ha, with 2 ha planted to Pinot Noir in 2003 and the rest to Riesling in 2007.

They released their first vintage in 2008, with a Pinot Noir made by C. P. Lin. C. P. made their wines for a number of years, and now Graham, who has a Post Grad Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University, is making their wines himself.

Both Graham and Deborah are passionate wine lovers, tending the vineyard, handpicking the grapes and making the wines with minimal intervention with their very own hands. The special thing about them, which is really rare in New Zealand, is that they hold their wines back for a long time. This practice gives their Pinot Noirs time to evolve over the years in the bottle and develop complex tertiary aromas, which is a brilliant bonus for wine lovers.

Their current vintage of Pinot Noir is 2012, and their 2011 Pinot Noir and 2010 La Char Pinot Noir are still available too. All their Pinot Noirs are unfined and unfiltered. The Mon Petit Pinot Noir is a youthful expression of their site. Here they’ve employed carbonic maceration to create a more approachable style when young, and it shows beautiful spices and complexity, too.

Mon Cheval also produces a Riesling (the style changes slightly depending on the vintage, but it’s often off-dry to medium-sweet), a Gewurztraminer and a rosé. Below are my reviews of their current offerings.



  • Mon Cheval Riesling 2017, North Canterbury
  • Mon Cheval Gewurztraminer 2020, North Canterbury
  • Mon Cheval Rosé 2020, North Canterbury
  • Mon Cheval Mon Petit Pinot Noir 2020, North Canterbury
  • Mon Cheval Pinot Noir 2011, North Canterbury
  • Mon Cheval Pinot Noir 2012, North Canterbury
  • Mon Cheval Le Char Pinot Noir 2010, North Canterbury

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