A mild spring was followed by extremely hot weather over the early and middle parts of the summer which made us wonder whether we might lose varietal typicity. Subsequently the weather moderated and the autumn was dry, lingering and warm. Overall pattern of early development and maturation with a gentle, drawn out ripening period, promoted bright, ripe fruit flavours and tannins, with soft, natural acidity.

We have 6 clones of merlot, 3 clones of malbec, 2 clones of cabernet sauvignon and 1 clone of cabernet franc in our vineyard. They were all harvested, fermented and matured separately. This final classical style wine was produced by blending these according to taste just prior to bottling.

After picking the fruit was carefully hand selected so that only the best grapes were used. These were then fermented in vats in the traditional Bordeaux manner with the developing wine being taken from the bottom of the tanks, aerated by splashing and pumped back over the floating cap of grape skins to keep them moist. After the fermentation ceased the new wine was kept in contact with the remnants of the grapes for a period, the optimal duration for each vat being determined by daily tasting. The wine was then pressed and put into oak barriques, 30% of which were new. In the spring after harvest, when the barrel cellar began to warm, the wine underwent natural malo-lactic fermentation by the action of its own indigenous organisms. It was matured in these barriques for a period of 2 years and during this time, 4-6 rackings were carried out so that it achieved clarity without filtration.

The wine has a deep ruby hue. The merlot provides plump, plumy characters in a framework of ripe tannins, while the malbec supports this structure and adds an aromatic, rose-petal-like element. Black currant and cassis hints come from the cabernet sauvignon and the cabernet franc adds an elegance. These are integrated by a savoury overlay suggestive of cigar smoke, coffee beans and black olives. It seems to expand in the palate becoming mouth-filling and rich, but yet has velvety tannins and a lingering after-taste. Although it is ready to drink on release, with careful cellaring it should continue to develop additional layers of complexity.

“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, JamesSuckling.com, US
“ … strong, vibrant blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, finely integrated oak, ripe, supple tannins, and excellent depth, complexity and harmony.”
- Michael Copper, michaelcooper.co.nz, 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, camerondouglasms.blogspot.co.nz, 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, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz


“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.
- TizWine.com, NZ
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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