The Season

The spring of 2009 was one of the warmest ever recorded so the vines got off to a good start with an early bud burst. Late spring and early summer however, were unseasonably cool and cloudy, sufficiently slowing the development of the grapes to cause us concern. The skies then cleared and we had three to four months of unbroken sunshine. This enabled us to leave the fruit on the vine to attain excellent maturity and ripeness.

Vineyard and vines

The outcrop of land on which these grapes were grown consists largely of weathered stones and mineral rich gravels. These were shorn off New Zealand’s Southern Alps by an ice-age glacier, which carried them down the valleys, depositing them in selected sites. The vineyard has warm days, but the nights are amongst the coolest in the Waipara Valley, which helps draw out the ripening period and retain good natural acidity. This individual terroir is especially suited to riesling.

Harvest and Winemaking

The grapes were beautifully ripe and in perfect condition when they were picked during mid to late May. They were immediately gently pressed and the resulting juice was fermented slowly at a cool temperature to help the wine retain its vibrant fruit characters and varietal purity. At all stages, from fermentation to bottling, it was handled very carefully to help it retain a little of its natural carbon dioxide. This provides a little additional crispness and may result in a small amount of spritzig when first poured.

The Wine

The generous bouquet and flavours are suggestive of ripe apples, lemons, limes, nectarines and white fleshed peaches. With careful cellaring, it also should develop a range of other characters, including impressions of mandarins and orange marmalade. While it is full flavoured and concentrated, the wine is also elegant and refined with a spine of fine acidity and zesty minerality which flow through the palate and draw out its length in a crisp off-dry finish.

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Awarded Super Classic Status "This is classy stuff."
- Michael Cooper's Buyer’s Guide, NZ, 2013
“Surely a classic in its own right”
- Michael Broadbent, Decanter, UK
One of only two NZ Riesling producers recommended by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, USA
“Canterbury with its sunshine and big diurnal shifts is the beating heart of NZ Riesling production with Pegasus Bay arguably the country's best-known producer for the grape.”
- Chris Losh, Imbibe Magazine, UK


This distinctive style of Riesling is jam-packed with honey, tree fruit/apricot and orange marmalade flavours (among many others). . . .
- Bob Campbell MW,
Top wine of tasting - “. . . an absolutely outstanding wine with intense concentration of colour, aroma, flavour, body and acidity; The finish is very long finish and this wine shows an exceptional response to the climate that it comes from. . . serious and very complex….This wine was my favourite for its great balance and intense fresh flavours.
- Vino -
“… This has much more to unfold…. the palate features soft, ripe, up-front citrus fruit and honied flavours along with nuances of exotic yellow florals. The mouthfeel is smooth-flowing with a fine phenolic line and discreet, lacy acidity guiding the palate….This is a soft, rich and gently succulent medium Riesling with citrus and honied flavours and toasty detail.”
- Raymond Chan,


“…This has developed some secondary nuance and is quite complete in expression. Medium in sweetness and medium-bodied, the palate is rich and harmoniously melded with concentrated flavours of yellow florals, citrus fruits and honey, along with subtle toasty nuances. The flavours are mouthfilling with a degree of opulence, but the wine is vibrant and lively with underlying, thirst-quenching acidity. The wine has concentration and follows a very fine line leading to a very long and sustained honied finish. This is a rich and harmonious medium Riesling with complex nuances, underlying vitality and a complete mouthfeel. . . .
- Raymond Chan,
Bright, light lemon/green, with lovely poise and concentration. Showing real depth through the palate, it is peachy, slightly limey, and honeyed, with gentle sweetness, good acid spine, and a touch of bottle-aged complexity. Drink now or cellar.
- Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide, NZ
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Pegasus Bay

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Off Licence.
Licence Holder:Dr I Donaldson T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:057/OFF/001/2015 Exp:22/12/2017