The Season

Spring and the first half of summer were so warm and dry that we were worried the vines might be affected by drought.  Then we had a brief torrential downpour which recharged the groundwater reserves and refreshed the vines.  The rest of the summer was excellent.  There was some late autumn humidity, but as we had exposed the berries to the sunlight they remained healthy and ripened excellently.

The Vineyard and the Vines

The vines are grown in stony, freely draining soil on north facing terraces.  Being in the most sheltered and warmest part of our vineyard they receive extra heat and we removed the leaves from around the bunches early in the summer to accentuate this effect.  Some of the blocks are over a quarter of a century old and are on their own roots. 

The Harvest and Winemaking

We use the traditional methods which are employed to make Bordeaux’s celebrated red wine, Claret.  After picking in mid-May the grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks.  During this process the juice was regularly drained from the tanks and sprayed back over the surface of the cap of floating grape skins to keep it moist and healthy.  After fermentation ceased the tanks were sealed and the grape remnants allowed to steep or macerate in the newly formed wine for several weeks, the exact period being judged by daily tasting.  The wine was then drained and put into French oak barriques.  In the summer after harvest it underwent natural spontaneous malo-lactic, or secondary, fermentation.  It remained in these barriques for 2 years, during which time it underwent several rackings, enabling it to clarify naturally.  The various batches were then blended according to taste before bottling.

The Wine

The merlot has given the wine beautiful plum and purple peach fruitiness, while the cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc have added cassis, tobacco and spicy ethereal notes.  The palate entry is deceptively soft, but the wine expands in the mouth to reveal a broad framework of ripe tannins, that draw out its length and support a lingering after-taste.

Download Tasting Notes

“Pegasus Bay Merlot Cabernet ages like clockwork”

- Matthew Jukes, 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates


“An impressive wine for the ball of succulent ripe plum-flavored fruit it dishes up amid succulently ripe tannins and fresh, earthy, background complexity. This has all-round appeal, casual or formal!”
- Nick Stock,, US
“ … strong, vibrant blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, finely integrated oak, ripe, supple tannins, and excellent depth, complexity and harmony.”
- Michael Copper,, NZ
“ …. immensely appealing …. Excellent length"
- Winestate Magazine, AUS
“ … Lovely bouquet of fruit, mineral, concentration and charm … complex and intriguing … Great example from Canterbury” 
- Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ


"…The nose is seamlessly melded and reveals fragrant spices, musk and a suggestion of camphor. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly concentrated with integrated flavours ... good depth and the palate flows smoothly with satin-like tannins, and underlying acid vitality. ... long, complex….”
- Raymond Chan,


“Full-coloured, with fresh plum, spice and nutty oak flavours, showing excellent complexity and depth."
- Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide, NZ


impressive complexity …” Good intensity of flavours…The oak is perfectly integrated and there’s a lovely round, supple texture in the mouth, giving superb structure and balance
- WineNZ magazine
100 best wines "Chewy, fleshy red with plum, dark berry chocolate/mocha and nutty oak flavours. Deliciously accessible red.”
- Bob Campbell MW - Taste magazine


"Top Tip" “From an excellent vintage this is a bold and intense wine with aromas and flavours of dark plums, blackberries, cassis and blueberries. It has mealy style that makes it dense and long lasting.
-, NZ
Download Reviews

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