THE VINEYARD AND VINES

The vineyard is located within the Waipara Valley of North Canterbury, on free draining, north facing terraces. 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

Warm and settled weather during flowering led to a very large initial set. Fruit thinning was then undertaken to bring the crop back to the desired level. A perfect summer followed by a warm dry autumn enabled the subsequent grapes to be harvested with excellent flavour development and physiological ripeness.

THE HARVEST AND WINEMAKING

Maestro is part of our reserve series and represents the very best of our Bordeaux fruit. As with all our reserves, this celebrated claret style wine is only made in exceptional years. After being picked in April, the grapes began fermentation naturally in stainless steel tanks. During this process the juice was regularly drained and sprayed back over the cap of floating grape skins (rather than plunging), to ensure a perfect tannin balance was extracted from the fruit. The wine was then gently pressed off and put into French oak barriques (50% new). The following summer, when the weather warmed, it underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing in oak for 2 years, a selection from the best barrels was carefully blended to produce the most balanced yet complex wine possible. The finished product is a blend of approximately 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet, and 20% Malbec.

THE WINE

It is dark purple and inky in appearance. Stacked in layers are a plethora of both dark fruit and savoury aromas. Blackcurrent, dark plum and cassis are straddled with earthy notes of mushroom, leather, black olive and woodsmoke. Plump and succulent in the mouth, yet with satisfying concentration and ripe tannins that add structure and complexity. Bound together with a core of refreshing acidity that balances the wine perfectly and prolongs its finish. While ready to drink on release, this wine will reward careful cellaring for many years to come.  

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