The season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. In spite of being dry we had infrequent, but well spaced showers keeping the vines very happy. At picking the fruit was in beautiful condition and was physiologically ripe..

The Vineyard and the Vines

We have about a dozen different clones planted throughout our pinot noir blocks. The vines, many of which are about 30 years old and on their own roots, grow on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. While the site is warm during the day it is cool at night. This allows the fruit to ripen fully but slowly, allowing it to retain its good, natural acid levels. The drainage is helped by stones intermingled with the soil.

Harvest and Wine Making

We use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. We picked the various blocks at different stages during April, depending on their maturity. The grapes, without their stems, were put into small fermenting vats, retaining as many whole berries as possible. They were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from their skins. After this time the grapes had warmed enough to start fermenting. During fermentation the floating cap of grape skins was, twice daily, gently pushed back under the wine to keep it moist and healthy. When the fermentation had finished the vats were sealed and the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. The duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was drained off and put into oak barriques (30% new), from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. Both this and the original fermentation phase were completely natural and without added micro-organisms. After maturing for 18 months in these barriques, we selected those which we felt best typified the vintage and our terroir to produce this wine. As usual, these came mainly from our oldest vines.

The Wine

On release the wine is a vibrant carmine colour. An array of bright red fruit aromas and flavours abound, suggesting dark cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries and purple plums. These are supported by savoury nuances of barbecued meats, grilled mushrooms and black olive tapenade. Although the entry is soft, this Prima Donna rapidly expands on the palate to become mouth filling and rich, while retaining a refined elegance with fine grained velvety tannins. The lingering aftertastes are enhanced by a spiciness, which enlivens the palate long after swallowing.

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Rated one of the best Pinot Noirs in the world (outside of Burgundy)
- Decanter magazine, UK

“…immense purity and is terrifically crunchy. There are red cherries at the core, dark spices, earth and fine chocolate at the edge. It's very long and direct. Will age magnificently”
- Nick Stock, USA

“….rich and complex wine with impressive weight and intensity….Powerful wine with obvious cellaring potential”.
- Bob Campbell MW, NZ


Pegasus Bay’s winemaking team uses traditional Burgundian methods, including small vat fermentation and ageing the wine in French oak barriques for 18 months. Made “in small quantities in the best vintages from the oldest vines”, this flagship pinot noir is a powerful combination of intense plum, cherry and berry flavours with haunting floral notes, Oriental spices and an intriguing savoury, forest floor, rustic character. A delicious pinot with ageing potential.
- Bob Campbell MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Australia
A composed, svelte and powerful pinot with terrific focus and a real sense of freshness. The complexity has been cleverly engineered into place and is all spicy, brambly and foresty. The palate has sheets of tannin tilted upright, is very linear, focused and composed, long and uncompromising, yet smooth and polished. A class act.
- Nick Stock, USA
“… opens to reveal complex scents of raspberry, cola, musky spices and flowers. Sappy and fresh, with terrific depth and intensity to the lightly saline flavors of raspberry, bitter cherry and spices. This very firmly built wine finishes with a youthfully bitter quality and solid tannic spine for aging. Give it a double decanting if you plan to broach a bottle any time soon--or, better yet, cellar it for five years….”
- Steve Tanzer,, USA


“Medium-bodied, the palate is led by a solid structure of medium to firm grainy tannins and crisp acid supporting the muscular red berry and savoury flesh, finishing long.”
- Lisa Perrotti Brown, MW,,
“Top Wine of NZ tasting (100's tasted)" “…downright Chambolle-like. Sweet and densely packed but youthfully tight, with impressive inner-mouth energy giving the intense red berry and mineral flavours terrific penetration. The superb rising finish saturates the palate with mineral-driven fruit. This is painfully backward today and may yet merit an even higher score with a few years in bottle.”
- Steve Tanzer,, USA
“This is crazy pure with strawberry, flowers, raspberries and licorice. Full and very dense with fabulous tannins and length. Chewy yet polished. Drink or hold.”
- James Suckling, USA
“... should flourish for a decade. Deep and youthful in colour, it is powerful and finely fragrant, with dense cherry, plum and slight liquorice flavours, deliciously rich and well-rounded.
- Michael Cooper, Buyers Guide 2013, 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