Waipara was buffeted by frequent strong winds in late spring and early summer which coincided with the period when the grapes were in flower. It impaired pollination and thus quite markedly reduced the crop level. The rest of the summer, however, was excellent and the autumn was warm, dry and lingering. We were thus able to harvest beautifully ripened grapes in optimum condition.

We adopted traditional burgundian methods to make this wine. After harvesting the fruit it was de-stemmed and put into small open top vats, our aim being to retain the individual berries whole. In addition, about 10% of complete bunches were included. After four or five days of being kept cool the grapes gradually warmed and underwent fermentation through the action of their own indigenous yeasts. Throughout the fermentation phase we twice daily manually pushed the floating cap of grapes back under the surface of the wine to keep it moist and healthy. We had to do this gently to avoid extracting rough or harsh tannins into the wine.

After the fermentation was completed the wine was kept in the vats with the grape remnants for a period of post fermentation maceration, the total time in vat or cuvaison was in the order of three to four weeks but was judged for each vat by daily tasting of the wine. This post-fermentation maceration was to help give the wine additional tannins to help it age. After gently pressing, the new wine was put into barriques of French artisan coopers, 40% of which were new.
When the wine warmed the following summer it underwent spontaneous malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After 18 months in these barrels the multiple individual batches were tasted and a final blend or assemblage was made prior to bottling.

The wine is a bright ruby colour with aromas and flavours suggestive of black cherries, purple plums, blackberries and raspberries. There is a savoury underlay of roast game, grilled bacon and mushrooms. In the mouth it seems to gradually expand from its first soft, seductive impression to become mouth filling and long. These help the wine flow evenly through the palate and should help it age gracefully.

The wine is ready to drink on release or will develop additional fascinating nuances and become increasingly mellow with careful cellaring.

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Awarded Super Classic Status.
- Michael Cooper's Buyer’s Guide, 2013, 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

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, www.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, www.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, www.jamessuckling.com, USA
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Pegasus Bay

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