The Vineyard

The vineyard site consists of several gradually descending terraces of freely draining soil. These terraces directly face north into the sun, finishing in an escarpment overlooking Waipara River.

The Season and harvest

We only make Finale in special years and 2008 was one of these. The spring and early summer were warm and so dry that we were concerned the vines would become affected by drought stress. Fortunately a brief, torrential downpour in February removed this possibility and the rest of the summer was excellent. Humidity in late autumn caused a small amount of beautifully ripe chardonnay to develop noble botrytis. We hand selected these raisined grapes to make this wine.


We were only able to press a small amount of very concentrated juice from these shrivelled berries. This underwent slow fermentation in oak barrels made by French artisan coopers. When the fermentation finally stopped the wine remained deliciously sweet. It was subsequently matured in these barriques for a total period of 2 years.

The wine

On release it has a bright, golden-apricot hue reflecting the ripeness of the fruit and the concentration of the juice by the botrytis. The bouquet and flavour suggest yellow-fleshed peaches, apricots, marzipan, caramel and vanilla pod, intertwined with comb honey and a whiff of cigar smoke. It is mouth-filling, rich and unctuous, but yet has lively acidity with a touch of grapefruit-like firmness to keep its luscious sweetness in balance.

Download Tasting Notes


" . . . deep gold, very sturdy, Sauternes-style wine. Lush and very sweet, with notably concentrated, peachy, honeyed flavours, and hints of apricots and raisins, . . . . hard to resist.
- Michael Cooper, Buyers Guide, NZ


"….offers a pretty straw to light golden colour and aromas of preserved lemons, musk and pineapple pastry with a touch of dried herbs. Fully sweet and luscious in the mouth, it has a lovely satiny texture and plenty of expressive, somewhat earthy flavours marked by crisp acid and finishing long. Drink this one now to 2019+.
- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, USA
"Powerful, ripe citrus fruit, honey and nutty oak elements fill the palate providing great depth and texture."
- Raymond Chan,
"Densely packed, complex aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits … full-bodied and concentrated, this has layers of flavour that emerge in the glass. Powerful, ripe citrus fruit, honey and nutty oak elements fill the palate providing great depth and texture …. the wine finishing stylishly and with lingering waxy and nutty nuances … This is a concentrated Sauternes-style dessert wine with an array of flavours that will become more complex over the next 6- 8 years."
- Michael Cooper, Buyers Guide 2012, NZ
"Bright gold in colour, oozing toasted nuts, citrus, grapefruit and spices, with a hint of creamy caramel, intense, textural and complex.”
- Charmian Smith, Otago Daily Times, 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