The Season

Budburst was early because the weather over that period was one of the warmest ever recorded.  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.

The Vineyard and the Vines

The grapes were grown on a series of north facing gradually descending terraces in stony, freely draining soil.  We specially ensured that there was a mixture of exposed and shaded fruit on the vines that are on their own roots and a quarter of a century old.  The crop levels were modest, but well balanced.

Harvest and Wine Making

The sauvignon blanc was picked during April.  We deliberately harvested different parcels at separate times during the month to achieve a spectrum of ripe aromas and flavours.  The semillon was left on the vines until the end of May to ensure optimum physiological ripeness.  These two varieties were fermented separately by their natural indigenous yeasts.  The semillon portion was in old French oak barrels to help the wines texture without adding oak flavour.  Both varieties were then aged on their deposit of yeast lees (sur lie) for 6 months to fill out the palate, the semillon still being in barrels.

The Wine

This traditional French blend has aromas and flavours of citrus fruit, passion-fruit and greengages, with a hint of dried herbs.  The low crop levels have particularly emphasised the semillon component in the wine, filling out the palate and giving good concentration as well as structure.  It has a crisp, dry finish and a lingering after-taste on the palate.  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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