Awarded Super Classic Status.
The growing season was longer than usual as mild, spring weather resulted in early bud-burst, but was followed by cool nights which prevented excessively rapid growth. We had good accumulation of summer heat and a long, dry autumn. Harvest was, as usual, in April. The fruit was beautifully physiologically ripe when picked, but yet had good levels of natural acid without excessive concentration of sugar.
In making this wine we have employed traditional Burgundian techniques. After picking the fruit was put into open top vats, our aim being to retain the individual berries whole, we also include about 10% whole bunches. The vats were kept cool for 4 or 5 days and then allowed to gradually warm. At this stage primary fermentation commenced by the action of the grapes' own yeasts and we started by hand plunging the floating cap of grapes to keep it moist and healthy twice daily. This was carried out very gently to avoid excessive extraction of rough tannins and it was continued throughout the 6 days of the fermentation phase. After this there followed a period of post-fermentation maceration, during which we pushed down the floating cap of skins once per day with our hands. The total time in vat or cuvaison, varied from batch to batch but was in the order of 3-4 weeks. The time of pressing for each vat was decided by daily tasting to assess to tannins. The new wine was then put into barriques, 30% new, of French artisan coopers.
When the winery warmed in the summer after harvest, the wine in these barriques underwent spontaneous secondary or malo-lactic fermentation by the action of their own natural indigenous micro-organisms. It remained in barriques for a total of 18 months. The multiple individual batches were then tasted and the final blend or assemblage made prior to bottling.
The wine has a vibrant carmine hue. Its aromas and flavours are a complex interplay of fruity and savoury elements, suggesting cherries, raspberries and blackberries, intermingled with roast game, grilled mushrooms, black olives, liquorice and coffee. There is a dense core of fruit in the mouth that is supported by a backbone of firm, ripe tannins which flow evenly through the palate and should help the wine age gracefully. While ready to drink on release it will develop additional fascinating nuances and become increasingly mellow with careful cellaring.
Awarded Super Classic Status.
"The flight of Pegasus Bay Pinot Noirs continued to illustrate their burgundy influence, the reds often reminiscent of Morey-saint-Denis".
"Felton Road, along with Pegasus Bay has been my favourite pinot producer in New Zealand for years."
"The oak control is phenomenal, showing more elegance and sophistication than hundreds of Burgundies”
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.
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” .
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.
“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”.
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".