The Season

Although the weather was fine over the flowering period of the vines, there were frequent, blustery winds.  These impaired pollination and reduced the “set” so that there was a small crop.  The rest of the season, however, was excellent and we were able to harvest beautifully ripened grapes.  The naturally small crop has given this wine good concentration. 

The Vineyard and 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 was 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 (50% merlot, 40% malbec, 5% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon) before bottling.

The Wine

On release, the wine has a deep, ruby hue.  There is a dense core of fruit with hints of purple plums, blackberries, black cherries, cassis, liquorice and spice both on the bouquet and the palate.  It is chunky and muscular in the palate with a frame-work of well-ripened, fine-grained tannins which flow through the wine and help draw out the lingering after-taste.

Download Tasting Notes


2015

93/100
This has an attractive melding of bright violet-like fragrance with rich, dark berry fruits. The merlot really has the upper hand: it's all regal tannins and pristine blueberry fruit flavours. A superb mid-weight, flavorsome red.
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
19/20
“Full, very dark, deep … the nose is bold and intensely concentrated … The wine carries to an elegant, sustained finish.  This is a bold, fulsome, sweet succulent Merlot blend …”
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
Densely fruited … the flavours harnessed by a touch of silky tannin.  Long finish
- Winestate Magazine, AUS
93/100
"… a medium to full-bodied red, with mouthwatering fruit and a long, dry, silky finish.”
- Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, USA
94/100
“Dark red berry fruits with plums and blackberry, violets and brown spices …. organic earthy quality, complex and engaging … tannins adding a lot of structure.  Lengthy finish and very youthful still
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.com, NZ
94/100
“ … Full bodied powerful style …Good stuff.”
- Gary Walsh, The Winefront, AUS

2009

93/100
Jasmine-tinged blackberry and blackcurrant fruit here, with hints of crème de cassis, purple flowers, clove, macerated plums, milk chocolate and gently spiced oak. It smells delicious. Smooth and svelte on the palate with beautifully detailed fruit, spice and meaty, smoky nuances.
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
95/100
Attractive red wine with seductive sweet fruit and flavours suggesting blackcurrant, coffee, chocolate and dried herbs. Rich, almost luscious wine with a long and gentle drying finish. This is the best vintage of this label I can recall tasting
- Bob Campbell MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine, AUS
. . . arguably the best yet. Deep and youthful in colour, it is rich and flowing, with concentrated, beautifully ripe blackcurrant, plum, spice and coffee flavours, complex and finely structured. Drink now and over the next decade.
- Michael Cooper, Buyers Guide 2012, NZ
TOP TIP - This is always a blockbuster of a wine and this 2009 vintage is as good as any. It has a dark, dense nose of plums with chocolate notes whilst the palate is stacked full of sweet, ripe juicy fruit that is concentrated and powerful and counterbalance to the bold tannins.
- TizWine.com, NZ

2007

91/100
“Hearty, rich and warming red in a mellow and flavoursome style. Some ripe plum and berry flavours contrast with more savoury, toasty, spicy notes. A distinctive and characterful wine.
- Bob Campbell MW, Gourmet Traveller Wine, AUS
”Drinking well now, this Waipara red is a blend of merlot (50%) and malbec (40%), with minor portions of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Barrel-aged for two years, it is deeply coloured and fleshy, with generous, spicy, nutty flavours, showing excellent complexity and richness.
- Michael Cooper, Winestate, AUS
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Pegasus Bay

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Off Licence.
Licence Holder:Donaldson Family Limited T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:57/OFF/458/2019 Exp:16/03/2022