THE FAMILY

The Donaldson Family have been seriously involved in viticulture and winemaking for over 40 years.  Founder Ivan Donaldson planted the first Canterbury vineyard in 1976 and went on to establish Pegasus Bay in 1986 with his wife Christine. It is a true family business with all four of their sons and two spouses involved, managing various aspects. 

THE VINEYARD AND VINES

The vineyard is located within the Waipara Valley of North Canterbury, on free draining, north facing terraces carved out of New Zealand’s Southern Alps by an ice-age glacier.  It benefits from being in the lee of the Teviotdale Range, giving maximum protection from the Pacific’s easterly breezes and thus creating a unique mesoclimate.  The vines are over 30 years old, with a large proportion planted on their own roots.  The soil is free draining and of low fertility, resulting in naturally reduced vine vigour.  This produces low yields of optimally ripened, high quality, flavourful grapes, which fully express the qualities of this unique terroir.  The vineyard has warm days, but the nights are amongst the coolest in the Waipara Valley, drawing out the ripening period of the grapes, while still retaining good natural acidity.

THE SEASON

A mild spring was followed by a warm summer and early autumn, leading to excellent ripeness in the fruit.  Favourable conditions during late autumn led to the onset of noble rot (botrytis), with the subsequent warm dry winds ensuring the grapes could be hung out until the very end of the season, when they were harvested in perfect condition. 

THE HARVEST AND WINEMAKING

Finale is part of our reserve series and is only made in exceptional years.  It is dependent on specific conditions at the end of the season leading to noble rot.   Only the most beautifully raisined, perfectly botrytic berries were selected to make this wine.  A small amount of very concentrated juice was then obtained by gentle pressing, and put into new French artisan oak barriques where it was allowed to ferment.  The wine was then matured in these barriques on its natural deposits of yeast lees (sur lie) for almost two years, prior to bottling.   

THE WINE

The wine is deep golden, with aromas of stone fruit (peach/apricot), lychee, pineapple and passionfruit.  Layered beneath are also hints of brioche, hazelnut, marmalade and butterscotch.  The presence of botrytis adds concentration and leads to a mouth feel that is rich and unctuous, however there remains a refreshing spine of acidity that ensures the wine is perfectly balanced, while adding satisfying length.

Download Tasting Notes


2011

Noble Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
94/100
“... very distinctive and packed with energy. On the palate - fantastic! Delicious, honeyed, oozing flavour and texture with huge sweetness equaled by acidity and richness”  .
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.blogspot.co.nz, NZ
19.5/20
“Deep golden yellow colour with orange hues and lighter green-gold tints on the edge.  The bouquet is full, bold and solidly concentrated with rich and ripe aromas … This is a very rich, complex-layered decadent dessert wine 
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
“...notable complexity on the nose and palate. …substantial body, with super-rich peach and apricot flavours, an oily texture and a lush, raisiny, superbly sustained finish.  A wine to ponder over.” 
- Winestate Magazine, AUS

2011

Noble Semillon
" . . . 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

2010

"….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, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
"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:Donaldson Family Limited T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:57/OFF/458/2018 Exp:16/03/2019