The Season

The growing season was excellent for riesling.  The spring was mild which lead to the vines coming into leaf early.  Moderate crop levels and warm summer days ensured excellent ripening, while cool nights retained the grapes’ natural acidity.  The autumn was dry and lingering.  A small amount of noble botrytis developed late in the season, which has given the wine extra depth and concentration.  We took great care in selecting out only fruit which contained about 30% of beautifully raisined nobly botrytic fruit to make this wine.

The Vineyard

The patch of land on which these grapes were grown consists largely of weathered stones.  These were carried down from the South Island’s Alps in the moraine of an ice age glacier.  Millennia later a surface layer of clay was washed away exposing this mineral rich seam.

The Harvest and Winemaking

After gentle pressing the juice was left to settle naturally in a tank and only the clear, upper portion was used.  This was fermented at low temperatures in order to retain the vibrant fruit characters.  The wine was handled very carefully before and during bottling to help retain the natural carbon dioxide from the fermentation.  This may give an impression of spritzig, enhancing its crispness and freshness.

The Wine

The wine has a rich array of aromas and flavours.  Impressions of peach and nectarine intermingle with those of guava, passion-fruit, lemon and lime.  Honeysuckle and wild-flower honey elements are added by the noble botrytis.  It is concentrated and powerful in the mouth but yet refined and elegant.  There is a spine of minerality and lively acidity, providing a perfect foil to its lusciousness and drawing out its length.  With careful cellaring over the next decade or two other fascinating nuances should develop, including apricot and mandarin-like flavours.

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