The growing season was special in that there was overall good heat summation without extremes of temperature and the autumn was dry, warm and very prolonged. This lead to very even ripening with the development of true cool climate varietal flavours and retention of good levels of natural acidity.

We gave the vines a lot of individual attention. This included careful positioning of shoots and the removal of excess leaves to prevent shading, both within the canopy and the fruiting zone. Crop reduction was carried out by green harvest‚ during which individual grapes lagging behind were removed. There was also rigorous selection of fruit at harvest to ensure only the best was included.

In the winery the stems were removed and the berries put into small vats. These were kept in a cool situation for several days until the mixture started to bubble and started to show signs of “life”. Fermentation, like other aspects of the winemaking, was carried out in the traditional Burgundian manner, with gentle hand-plunging of the floating “cap”‚ of grape-skins in order to keep it moist. When this vigorous primary fermentation subsided the resulting wine was kept with the remnants of the grapes for a number of days. The length of this post-fermentation maceration‚ was determined by regularly tasting each vat to assess the development of the wine, particularly its tannic structure. When this was at its best the wine was separated and put into French oak barriques tomature. In the spring after harvest, when the temperatures warmed, it underwent a natural malo-lactic or secondary fermentation by the action of its indigenous micro-organisms. After an extended period in barrique, during which the wine clarified naturally, the individual batches were carefully blended by taste to produce the final “assemblage”. This was eventually bottled 18 months after harvest.

The wine's ruby colour is shot with carmine and purple hues. It is very“Pinoid” expressing its varietal origins rather than just being a big red. It presents a complex blend of primary fruit and secondary winemaking/maturation characters. The former shows cherry, raspberry, blackberry and spicy characters while the latter adds savoury elements suggestive of barbequed game, grilled mushrooms, black olives and liquorice. These aroma and flavour components are supported by a serious but refined structure. A back bone of strong but fine tannins is fleshed out by a velvety texture and a mouth-filling aftertaste reminiscent of dark chocolate. While showing these elements and being ready to drink on release the wine should continue to improve with careful cellaring over the next 5-6 years and live well beyond.


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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