The vines were carefully trained by hand so that the leaves and bunches were fully exposed to the sun. This included the removal of all leaves which might shade the grapes. Such careful attention to detail ensured good physiological maturation in the fruit.

A mild spring was followed by a warm, but not overly hot summer. The dominant force in the season, however, was the amazing Indian summer. From March onwards, temperatures were well above average and, combined with a long, lingering, dry autumn, the grapes were harvested fully ripe and in optimum condition. Low crops resulted in extra concentration.

After picking, the cool grapes, minus their stems, sat in multiple small vats in the winery for 4-5 days before fermentation commenced. This was carried out in the time honoured Burgundian manner with gentle plunging by hand of the fermenting, floating cap in order to keep the skins moist. When the tumultuous fermentation died down, the wine was gently pressed off the skins without post-fermentation maceration and then put into French oak barriques, 30% of which were new. This traditional regimen is used to promote careful extraction of fruit aromas and flavours and ripe velvety tannins, while avoiding harshness. When the weather warmed in the spring, the wine underwent natural secondary or malo-lactic fermentation by the action of the grapes indigenous bacteria. Careful racking of the wine in the barriques from its yeast lees or sediment, allowed clarification without filtration.

The wine has a deep carmine hue and a lifted, wild berry aroma, intertwined with hints of black olives and smoke. It has a complex array of flavours, evoking memories of black cherries, plums, mushrooms and roast game. The generously rich palate structure is supported by a spine of fine, ripe, mellow tannins. While ready to drink on release, it will reward careful cellaring with increasing complexity over the next 6-8 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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Off Licence.
Licence Holder:Dr I Donaldson T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:057/OFF/001/2015 Exp:22/12/2017