By picking late in the season, following a coolish summer, we were able to achieve splendid ripeness with good natural acidity. The juice was slowly fermented at a cool temperature to help retain varietal purity and freshness. The wine is suffused with ripe lime, lemon, nectarine, peach and lychee characters with hints of orange blossom and honeysuckle. The generous palate is backed by a luscious concentration of mouth-watering fruit. There is a spine of tingling acidity and minerality which hold this sweet riesling in check, keeping it elegant, balanced and stylish, while drawing out its lingering aftertaste. With careful cellaring should develop a range of other fascinating nuances and live for a decade or more.

The Season

This was one of our cooler summers, although we had a good autumn. By leaving the grapes on the vines until later in the season we achieved excellent ripeness with good natural acidity. A modest but reasonable crop level has contributed to good fruit concentration and body in the wine.

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 from New Zealand’s Southern Alps by an ice-age glacier that carried them down the valleys and deposited 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 in perfect condition when they were picked during late May and June.  They were gently pressed and the small amount of juice that was obtained was then fermented slowly at cool temperatures 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

On release it is a light gold colour. The wine is suffused with ripe lime, lemon, nectarine, peach and lychee characters with hints of orange blossom and honeysuckle. The generous palate is backed by a luscious concentration of mouth-watering fruit. There is a spine of tingling acidity and minerality that holds this sweet riesling in check, keeping it elegant, balanced and stylish, while drawing out its lingering aftertaste. With careful cellaring should develop a range of other fascinating nuances and live for a decade or more.

Download Tasting Notes


2013

95/100
“. . Exotic fruits and spices offer a delicious package of flavours. Full-flavoured wine with a smooth texture and lingering finish. Very classy sticky . “
- Bob Campbell MW, www.bobcampbellwinereviews.com
18.5/20
This has an elegant, fresh and tightly bound nose with excellent presence and depth of exotic floral fragrances and lime fruit aromas intermixed with wild honey and marmalade botrytis. The integrity of the fruit shows in floral and lime clarity and the detail of nuance is beautiful….The fruit is underlined by subtle phenolic textures that emerge to balance the richness and lusciousness. This has great weight, depth and presence, with lively acidity providing the palate energy and drive. The wine flows positively to a full blossoming, sustained finish with florals, honey and musk notes.This is a beautifully fragrant and exotic sweet Riesling with a rich, finely textured palate of great presence and line.
- Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz

2012

94/100
Made from a selection of bunches with shrivelled berries for greater concentration. A delicious vintage for Aria with tree fruit and bush honey flavours. Moderately sweet Riesling but not so sweet that it can’t be enjoyed as a delicious aperitif. A successful vintage for an iconic New Zealand dessert wine style.
- Bob Campbell MW www.bobcampbellwinereviews.com
94/100
"The cool 2012 season has given this sweet and rich Riesling precision and drive. It has dense concentration of fruit suggesting low yields in the vineyard….. While sweet, it is clean and precise, and would suit spicy food although I'm happy to drink glass after glass of it without any accompaniment.
- Rebecca Gibb, www.rebeccagibb.com, NZ 
19/20
This is a beautifully elegant and refined sweet Riesling with a balance between decadence and freshness.
-Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz

2011 & 2010

no wine produced in this vintage

2009

92/100 Points
“wonderfully honeyed/musky character on the nose … rich and generously fruited in the mouth, it has a good backbone of refreshing acidity and a very long finish.”
—Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW – Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, USA
“A very classy wine … It should flourish for many years.”
—Michael Cooper's Buyer’s Guide 2012, NZ
95/100 Points
“It’s stunning on the nose … the palate is concentrated and generous with rich texture and lovely sweetness which is superbly balanced by the refreshing acidity.”
—Sam Kim Wine Orbit, NZ

2008

“Peach, honey and mandarines with a mineral delicacy. Lovely freshness on the finish balanced by residual sugar. Delicious.”
—Rebecca Gibb, Decanter, UK
“Stunning – THE wine of the tasting and a sure fire GOLD in any tasting it enters. The flavours just go on and on and the mouthfeel is oily and opulent. You MUST try this.”
—TizWine.com, NZ
“Just one of the many strings in the bow of top-notch New Zealand producer Pegasus Bay, this is a wonderfully refreshing yet intensely sweet wine. Immediately identifiable as Riesling, it has a lemony, zesty freshness and superb balance. It’s hard to imagine anyone not loving this wine.”
—Beverley Blanning, MW, Sommelier Journal, U.S.
“… is a classy, very elegant Waipara wine, … fresh, pure, late harvest fruit flavours, showing excellent richness. Finely focused, with a luscious sweetness … coupled with mouth-watering acidity, it’s a beauty.”
—Michael Cooper, Winestate, Australia

2007

17.5/20 Points
“Deep lemon with lots of evolution on the nose. Honeyed wine with lots of acidity and lots of sugar - probably very difficult to make and much more complex and ambitious than most. Bravo! A real product of the vineyard. Very zesty. Hovers between medium dry and medium sweet”
—Jancis Robinson, UK
“…This wine underscores the multi-talented nature of Riesling. Poised, balanced and far from sugar dominated…”
—Cuisine Magazine
97/100 Points
“Pegasus Bay, in the Waipara region near Christchurch, makes some of New Zealand's most exotic wines. This magnificent sweet wine, perfumed beautifully and beguiling. Pristine fruit flavours and perfect balance in the mouth.”
—Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald, Good Living, Australia
“The 2007 Vintage is an elegant, slightly honeyed Waipara wine with lovely ripeness and richness...great harmony.”
—Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide, 2009
—WineState Magazine, Australia
Download Reviews

Pegasus Bay

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