Awarded Super Classic Status.
The spring and early summer were warm and very dry. A brief torrential downpour in mid-February staved off a looming drought and the rest of the growing season was very good for pinot noir. The fruit was well exposed so that some intermittent autumnal humidity was handled without difficulty and the fruit was beautifully ripe and clean when picked.
Multiple clones of pinot noir from which this wine is made were grown in a number of separate blocks on freely draining, north facing terraces in the Pegasus Bay home vineyard. The berries, minus the stems, were put into small open topped vats and kept cool for several days. Spontaneous, primary fermentation then commenced due to the grapes’ wild yeasts. During the fermentation phase gentle, manual “plunging” of the floating cap of grape skins was carried out twice daily to keep it moist and healthy. When the bubbling died down the grape remnants were kept in contact with the new wine in sealed vats for a period of post-fermentation maceration to aid the development of structure and mouth feel.
Several weeks after harvest the new wine was put into oak barriques made by artisan Burgundian coopers. When the weather warmed early next summer the wine underwent natural, secondary, (malo-lactic) fermentation due to the action of its own micro-organisms. After a total of 18 months in barrique the small individual batches were carefully blended, according to taste, to produce this final wine.
On release the wine has a bright, ruby colour and shows a complex intertwining of fruity and savoury aromas and flavours. Wild cherry, raspberries and mulberries mingle with impressions of roast game, grilled mushroom, black olives and liquorice. It seems to expand in the mouth and, after swallowing, its initial seductive fruitiness leads on to a backbone of ripe tannins which give it structure, depth and length. There is a lingering impression of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. The wine will benefit from careful cellaring which should bring out many other nuances.
Awarded Super Classic Status.
"The flight of Pegasus Bay Pinot Noirs continued to illustrate their burgundy influence, the reds often reminiscent of Morey-saint-Denis".
"Felton Road, along with Pegasus Bay has been my favourite pinot producer in New Zealand for years."
"The oak control is phenomenal, showing more elegance and sophistication than hundreds of Burgundies”
Pegasus Bay is the flagship winery of Waipara, yet the wines remain realistically priced. Plum, cola and cherry notes are accompanied by strongly umami sensations akin to mushroom and roasted beef, giving this wine ample complexity. While the wine is concentrated, it has an airy, graceful feel to it. Drink 2016–2024.
A sense of real depth, soothing dark cherry notes, some forest floor and deeply knitted oak. The palate has noble tannins and the sort of structural complexity and completeness that is the envy of most other NZ Pinot Noir makers” .
Full-flavoured Pinot Noir with plum, spice, glazed cherry, floral/violet and a hint of savoury and mineral character. Mouth-filling wine with obvious power and a lengthy finish. A consistently top wine.
“Fine, fresh, vivid and interesting with an assertive cherry fruit nose. Lovely supple, elegant palate shows nice precision. Lovely sweet fruit combined with spicy structure”.
Lifted spicy cherry fruit on the nose with higher tones of raspberry coulis and cranberry…. Lively and driven on the palate, the red fruits show supporting characters of Asian spice and a waft of forest floor. Roast game, red licorice, milk chocolate and spicy oak complete the picture. Great line, lively acidity and a balanced, lingering finish".