Heavy nor’west wind was frequent over the period of flowering of the grapes which impaired their pollination and lead to a small crop of grapes setting on the vines. The rest of the season, however, was excellent with good heat accumulation over the summer and autumn. The fruit was thus beautifully ripe and in optimal condition when harvested.                               

This wine is a blend of classical Bordeaux grape varieties and in making it we have utilised traditional methods which have made the region’s wine so famous and have given Claret a household name. The berries, without stems, were placed in vats and during their fermentation the juice was regularly drained from the bottom, allowed to aerate by splashing and then pumped back over the floating cap of its skins to keep them moist and healthy. This enabled excellent extraction of colour and tannins. When the fermentation had finished the vats were sealed to exclude air and there was a period of post-fermentation maceration, during which the wine was kept in contact with the grape remnants. The duration of this was determined by regular tasting, the aim being to achieve ideal structure and mouth-feel. After several weeks the new wine was run off into French oak barriques, which were kept in our cellars over winter. When the weather warmed in the spring after harvest, the wine underwent natural malo-lactic fermentation by the action of its own indigenous micro-organisms. It was kept in barriques for 2 years, during which time it underwent several rackings to clarify it. It was kept for a further 9 months in old large oak vats to help it mature and soften. It was then carefully blended and bottled according to taste.                                     

The wine has a bright garnet hue. The low crops have given the wine extra concentration. Merlot (85%) has provided a core of plump, plumy, velvety fruit, while malbec (15%) has provided rose-petal-like notes, along with a backbone of ripe, savoury tannins which flow through the palate and draw out the length. There are also hints of vanilla pod, dark chocolate and liquorice.

While ready to drink on release, careful cellaring will result in the wine developing a range of additional fascinating nuances, while at the same time mellowing. After several years it may throw a deposit and decanting is recommended. It is expected to peak about 6-8 years after its vintage and will live well beyond.

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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, www.jamessuckling.com, USA


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, www.jamessuckling.com, USA
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, Australia
. . . 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


“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, Australia
”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, Australia
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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