Awarded Super Classic Status.
The whole growing season was ideal apart from the period when the vines were in flower. This was the coldest and wettest December Waipara has ever experienced and as a result the number of berries setting was extremely low, resulting in the smallest crops we have seen. Because of this the wine has extra concentration and depth.
Although we had tiny crops we treated the vines as we would in a normal year, giving them a large amount of manual attention well before harvest, including meticulously removing any fruit which was not of the highest quality. When picked the fruit was beautifully mature, ripe and healthy.
In making this wine we have utilised traditional Burgundian techniques. It was carefully hand sorted so that only the best was used. The stems were removed and we attempted to retain as many whole berries as possible. These were placed in small vats which were kept cool for several days before fermentation occurred through the action of the grapes own indigenous yeasts. During this primary fermentation the cap of floating skins was periodically gently pushed down under the surface of the liquid (plunged) to keep it moist and in good condition. After fermentation was finished the wine was kept in contact with the grape remnants (post-fermentation maceration), the exact period being determined by regular tasting. When it was considered to be optimal, the wine was drained from the vats and put into oak barrels of artisan Burgundian coopers, 40% of which were new. From harvest to barrel the emphasis has been to extract the pinot’s true varietal flavours and ripe tannins, but avoid any hardness or roughness.
When the cellars warmed in the spring after harvest, the wine underwent natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation through the action of its indigenous micro-organisms. After 20 months in barrique the wine had clarified naturally and was then blended before bottling.
This rich, ruby coloured wine has a sensuous bouquet and flavour. There are fruit motifs of black cherries, purple plums and blackberries, intertwined with more savoury flavours emphasising roast meats, grilled mushrooms and black olives. Enveloping these are impression of chocolate mocha and cinnamon. It is both mouth filling and rich, but yet supple, athletic and lithe. It has a long aftertaste which lingers on the palate after swallowing.
Although ready to drink on release, with careful cellaring it should continue to develop additional layers of complexity for 6-10 years after harvest and live beyond.
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".