The Season

The 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. At picking the fruit was in beautiful condition and was physiologically ripe.

The Vineyard and the Wines

We have about a dozen different clones planted throughout our pinot noir blocks. The vines, many of which are 25 years old and on their own roots, grow on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. While the site is warm during the day it is cool at night, which allows the fruit to ripen fully but slowly, while retaining its good, natural acid levels. The drainage is helped by stones intermingled with the soil.

Harvest and Winemaking

We use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. We picked the various blocks at different stages April, depending on their maturity. The grapes, without their stems, were put into small fermenting vats, retaining as many whole berries as possible. They were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from their skins. After this time the grapes had warmed enough to start fermenting. During fermentation the floating cap of grape skins was twice daily gently pushed back under the wine by hand to keep it moist and healthy. When the fermentation finished the vats were sealed and the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for a week or so to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. The duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was drained off and put into oak barriques (30% new) from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. Both this and the original fermentation phase were completely natural and without added micro-organisms. After maturing for 18 months in barriques the batches made from the many different plots of pinot were carefully blended in varying portions, according to taste, to produce this wine.

The Wine

The bouquet and flavour suggest raspberries, blackberries cherries and purple plums. These are supported by a savoury complexity, reminiscent of grilled mushrooms, roast game and black olive tapenade. The wine is powerful, yet elegant and understated with an even flow of fine grained tannins across the palate. A whisper of dark chocolate lingers in the mouth long after swallowing. Careful cellaring should bring out a range of other fascinating nuances is a wine develops.

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Awarded Super Classic Status.
- Michael Cooper's Buyer’s Guide, NZ
"The flight of Pegasus Bay Pinot Noirs continued to illustrate their burgundy influence, the reds often reminiscent of Morey-saint-Denis".
- Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, USA
"Felton Road, along with Pegasus Bay has been my favourite pinot producer in New Zealand for years."
- Steve Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, USA

2016

92/100

“ … it’s clear that this is an elegant, medium weight style with a precise structure …”

- Decanter Magazine, UK
94/100

“Wild herbs, bracken, red fruits … dense, succulent and seamlessly polished …Long and taut.  Needs time.”

- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
92/100

“ … a silky feel and a lingering finish that echoes with attractive tea-like nuances.”

- Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, USA
95/100

“ … dark fruit richness as well as savoury undertones … awesome power and concentrationstylish and structuredexpansive and velvety, finishing persistent and engaging.”

- Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, wineorbit.co.nz, NZ
94/100

“Dense, seamless and flavoursome pinot noir … Distinctive wine which is an expression of variety, place and winemaking …”

- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ

2015

96/100
Super vibrant with plenty of earthy forest floor aromas as well as toasted spices.  The palate reveals a core of pristine dark cherry fruit flavor, beautifully judged ripe tannins and a level of effortless depth that singles this out as a consistently great New Zealand pinot noir.
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
94/100
“A bouquet filled with raw energy, Pinosity and an abundance of individuality … Long finish. Very Pegasus Bay
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.com, NZ
“Boldly aromatic …. The finish is long and generous. Plenty of potential here ….”
- Winestate magazine, AUS
95/100
“Intense, youthful …elegant wine with power and a lingering finish …”
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
19+/20
“ ...A beautifully elegant and harmonious, vibrant and bright-fruited Pinot Noir …”
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
94/100
“...Sense of deliciousness from the first sip, Effortless. Proper pinot”
- Gary Walsh, The Winefront, AUS

2014

96/100
Top equal wine in a tasting of 2014 NZ Pinot Noirs  Wow! Fabulous, complex bouquet of broody dark red berries, layers of mineral and savoury whole-bunch and dried herb nuances. Juicy, lush, generous and complex on the palate, with generous oak and ripe, very fine tannins.
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.blogspot.co.nz, NZ
96/100
Rich, weighty, ripe pinot noir with a dense, almost syrupy texture and plum jam, liquorice, Christmas cake flavours. Big and slightly rustic wine with pleasing complexity. It has a suggestion of old vine density with underlying power and a lengthy finish.
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
94/100
“…A very fresh and concentrated edition of this majestic pinot noir. This is bathed in dark cherry fruits, earth and spices, and there's a meaty depth and plenty of forest bracken too. The tannins are long and grainy, and carry rich dark cherry-plum fruit flavors long” 
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA

2013

94/100
“ … It’s a wine of undeniable personality and charisma, as ever..." 
- Gary Walsh, winefront.com.au. AUS
95/100
NZ Pinot Noir Tasting among 1 of 7 rated as “Outstanding” 
- Decanter magazine, UK
96/100
“…Appealing, ripe and quite concentrated pinot noir … A supremely elegant wine with an intriguing rustic edge
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
19/20
“… The rich flavours are mouthfilling and carry to a long, lingering finish.  This is a rich, vibrant and mouthfilling, complex-detailed Pinot Noir … fine-grained, well-structured palate.”
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
Excellent to Outstanding
“… Deceptively powerful wine that dances on the palate … Delicious.” .
- Otago Daily Times, NZ
96/100
#1 wine under $80   “ … enticingly refined and elegantly understated … a masterfully crafted expression of a remarkable site” 
- Tyson Stelzer, Australian & New Zealand Wines of the Year 2017
18.5/20
“…has the ability to live a long and beautiful life … .  It’s a keeper. (And is consistently among my top five South Island Pinot Noirs.)” 
- Joelle Thomson, Drinksbiz Magazine, NZ

2012

18.5/20
"The oak control is phenomenal, showing more elegance and sophistication than hundreds of Burgundies”
- Matthew Jukes, UK

93/100
Pegasus Bay is the flagship winery of Waipara, yet the wines remain realistically priced. Plum, cola and cherry notes are accompanied by strongly umami sensations akin to mushroom and roasted beef, giving this wine ample complexity. While the wine is concentrated, it has an airy, graceful feel to it. Drink 2016–2024.
- Wine Enthusiast, USA

96/100
A sense of real depth, soothing dark cherry notes, some forest floor and deeply knitted oak. The palate has noble tannins and the sort of structural complexity and completeness that is the envy of most other NZ Pinot Noir makers” .
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
93/100
Full-flavoured Pinot Noir with plum, spice, glazed cherry, floral/violet and a hint of savoury and mineral character. Mouth-filling wine with obvious power and a lengthy finish. A consistently top wine.
- Bob Campbell MW, NZ

2011

94/100
“Fine, fresh, vivid and interesting with an assertive cherry fruit nose. Lovely supple, elegant palate shows nice precision. Lovely sweet fruit combined with spicy structure”.
- Jamie Goode, wineanorak.com, UK
93/100
Lifted spicy cherry fruit on the nose with higher tones of raspberry coulis and cranberry…. Lively and driven on the palate, the red fruits show supporting characters of Asian spice and a waft of forest floor. Roast game, red licorice, milk chocolate and spicy oak complete the picture. Great line, lively acidity and a balanced, lingering finish".
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
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Pegasus Bay

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Off Licence.
Licence Holder:Donaldson Family Limited T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:57/OFF/458/2019 Exp:16/03/2022