The Season

The growing season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn.  In spite of being dry we had infrequent, but well spaced showers keeping the vines very happy.  These conditions enabled us to harvest beautifully ripened, healthy fruit.

The Vineyard

The vines, which are over a quarter of a century old, were grown on a series of north facing gradually descending terraces in stony free draining soil. We deliberately had a mixture of exposed and shaded fruit on the sauvignon blanc vines to ensure a wide spectrum of flavours. The semillon fruit was fully exposed to obtain maximal ripeness

The Harvest and Winemaking

We picked the sauvignon in stages during April, timing each harvest to further optimise the grapes’ range of natural flavours. The semillon was harvested later in May when it had achieved optimal physiological ripeness. These varieties were fermented separately by their natural indigenous yeasts. The semillon portion was an old French oak barrels to help develop the wine’s texture, without adding oak flavour. Both varieties were then aged on their natural deposits of yeast lees (sur lie) for six months to fill out the palate, the semillon portion remaining in barrels throughout this time.

The Wine

French traditionally blend a portion semillon into sauvignon blanc to help subdue the latter's pungency, add richness and complexity and ensure longevity. This wine has aromas and flavours of passionfruit, pawpaw, Turkish musk and tropical spices intermingled with a splash of freshly crushed thyme and mint. In the mouth it is full-bodied and concentrated but muscular rather than opulent. The finish is firm, dry and lingering. While ready to drink on release it should develop additional layers of complexity with careful cellaring over several years.

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“More complex and animated than most New Zealand sauvignons.”
- Steve Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, USA
This label has received the highest score (95/100) given to any new world Sauvignon based wine in the history of Robert Parkers Wine Advocate, USA

2012

94/100
"This wine has excellent fruit freshness, complexity balance and length. Oatmeal, stone fruit and tropical fruits with complexity. In the mouth a complex cascading quince citrus and finishing lychee awash in tropical zesty acidity with fresh ripe citrus, passionfruit, guava, lemon and pink grapefruits all offering flavours to drive exceptional length and complexity.
- Rob Geddes MW Author of Australia Wine Vintages
”The fruit richness is balanced and cut by crisp acidity, and the palate is elegant in proportion with a fine phenolic line smoothly carrying the wine. As the wine flows, the palate tends to dryness and the flavours lead to a long, lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Sauvignon/Semillon blend with fresh, fruit and a fine linearity and dry mouthfeel. …”
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz
This is a seriously powerful white wine and clearly semillon is an excelsior in the blend; wonderfully decedent and invigorating, drinking well now but you can sense with its unbridled power and cut it will cellar for 10 years or more.
- Curtis Marsh, www.thewanderingpalate.com
A serious and muscular Sauvignon dominant blend with ripe green fruits and a complex smoky, flinty element.
- Wine NZ magazine

2011

92/100
Pale straw-tinged yellow. Complex, bracing aromas of gooseberry, white pepper, ginger, quinine, crushed stone and dusty herbs, plus a hint of lanolin. Broad, spicy and quite dry, with firm acidity giving excellent cut to the subtle flavors of citrus fruits and floral oils; more concentrated than the overwhelming majority of New Zealand's sauvignon-based wines. The long finish features a bitter-edged grapefruit note that calls for a year or two of patience.
- Steve Tanzer, www.internationalwinecellar.com, USA
The flavours lead to a very long, lingering, tightly bound finish. This is a very elegant, concentrated Sauvignon Blanc based wine with very fine textures and complex flavours.
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz
This is one of the country’s best sauvignon blancs, but not as you normally know it. A little Semillon in this blend goes a long way towards creating a rainbow of flavours…The result is complex, fascinating flavours with richness, depth and length to burn.
- Joelle Thompson, Your Weekend magazine, NZ
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Pegasus Bay

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