Sauvignon blanc is fermented in stainless steel to retain vibrant passion fruit characters, while semillon is fermented in oak barriques to add length and depth. Both undergo natural fermentation by their indigenous yeasts and have prolonged maturation on their yeast lees, giving a creamy mid palate texture. As traditionally occurs in Bordeaux, these two varieties are blended to produce a more complete and complex wine than either can by itself.
We, as well as many others, believe the Waipara Valley to be a very special place for this varietal. The warm days and cool nights provide ripe, rich fruit while retaining knife edge acidity. Cool fermentation of optimally ripened grapes fills this classic European variety with heady honeysuckle, lime and peach aromas while the palate is refreshing and crisp. It is a wine with balance and finesse and is made in a style similar to the spatlese wines of Germany.
Our Mendoza clone chardonnay is made by traditional Burgundian methods, fermenting juice in French oak barrels (puncheons), of which 30% are new, ageing on lees and allowing partial malolactic fermentation to occur naturally. The wine has concentrated fruit flavours with butterscotch and savoury overtones. It is full-structured but refined and the flavours linger on the palate.
This is handcrafted in the time-honoured Burgundian way, using small vat fermentation of grapes, hand plunging to moisten the cap and gentle separation of the wine before 18 months maturation in French oak barriques. During this time it undergoes natural malolactic fermentation and clarifies by settling. Pegasus Bay Pinot has gamey hints overlying ripe berry characters. Very low cropping levels result in a rich full bodied wine with the velvety texture which makes this variety so famous.
Meticulous work in the vineyard results in small yields of beautifully ripe fruit which has been fully exposed to the sun. Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec grapes are fermented separately in small tanks, being splashed and pumped over in the Bordeaux manner. Maturation is for 2 years in small oak casks of which about 30% are new. During this time natural malolactic fermentation occurs and four to six rackings are carried out to assist clarification. This traditional mix of Claret grapes produces an inky, multi-faceted wine with cassis, cigar box and spice characters, a generously fruity palate and a backbone of fine tannins.