Waipara was buffeted by frequent strong winds in late spring and early summer which coincided with the period when the grapes were in flower. It impaired pollination and thus quite markedly reduced the crop level. The rest of the summer, however, was excellent and the autumn was warm, dry and lingering. Our riesling thus became beautifully ripe and flavoursome with good levels of natural acidity. These grapes were then left hanging on the vines until winter so that the moisture from the early morning dew resulted in them becoming botrytic.

The fruit was hand picked by making multiple passes through the vineyard, each separated by about a week, selecting on each occasion only bunches which had more than 30% of the berries shrivelled by clean, noble botrytis.

After selection the grapes were gently pressed and the clarified juice underwent slow fermentation at a cool temperature to help retain the natural fruitiness and the unique flavours added by the botrytis. As soon as fermentation was completed the wine was removed from its yeast lees to maximise varietal purity and freshness.

The aromas and flavours are suggestive of ripe stone fruits, such as nectarines and white peaches, intertwined with lemons and limes. Behind these there are hints of ripe, raw figs and tropical spices. The botrytis adds honey, honeysuckle and beeswax elements. Low crops have given it extra concentration but while it is mouth-filling and luscious it has a backbone of minerality and acidity which keep it tightly knit, focussed and elegant. It lingers on the palate well after swallowing.

Although ready to drink on release it should, with careful cellaring, develop additional fascinating nuances and complexities over the next five or six years and live for a decade or more.

Download Tasting Notes


“… Full-bodied and sweet with dried apricot and candied lemons that follow through to a sweet finish of Turkish delight” 
- James Suckling Wine Reviews, www.jamessuckling.com, USA


“Fabulous aromas … A delicious wine, perfect as an aperitif and some less sweeter dessert .”
- Cameron Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com, NZ
Gorgeous perfumed nose with aromas of lemon, grapefruit, magnolia and struck match/gunflint sulphide complexity… lively, invigorating, fruity-style with good drive and phenolics to balance the sweetness.
- New Zealand Wine Rater, Stephen Bennett MW & Lynnette Hudson, NZ

“… A luscious dessert wine … Sweetness is perfectly balanced by crisp acidity … ”

- Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, NZ

Luscious and sumptuous … richly textured palate that’s dazzling and delectable. Gorgeously sweet with excellent balance and harmony, offering terrific drinking”

- Sam Kim, www.wineorbit.co.nz, NZ
“The seductive and shapely 2020 Riesling Aria Late Picked may have generous sweetness (70g/L) but a prickle of retained CO2 combined with the naturally vibrant acidity of Riesling and lightly phenolic character provide the structured framework for this wine to remain focused and clean…. It's excellently balanced …” 
- Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous, USA
“… This harmonious late-picked Riesling with luscious fruit, honey and spice shine with vibrant acidity, complexity and a moreish, long finish.” 
- Candice Chow, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
“… Full-bodied and sweet, yet fresh, with sharp acidity and bright, zesty character. Excellent balance” 
- James Suckling Wine Reviews, www.jamessuckling.com, USA


Decadently luscious Riesling"
- Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, AUS & NZ
This is one of New Zealand’s great white wines each year… It’s a stunning balance between luscious, textual richness and the refreshing delicious succulence provided by the acidity.”  
- Joelle Thomson, Drinksbiz, NZ
“… A luscious, opulent, viscous, full-bodied botrytis style with enough acid to balance the richness. Well done.”
- New Zealand Wine Rater, Stephen Bennett MW & Lynnette Hudson, NZ
“… The wine is refreshing and uncloying, supported by mouthwatering acidity, carry this flavoursome nectar through the palate with ease … refreshing palate with the usual complexity” 
- Candice Chow, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ
Offering opulence as well as sophistication … delicious sweetness and refreshing acidity”
- Sam Kim – Wine Writer, www.wineorbit.co.nz, NZ
“… notable depth and harmony. It should be long-lived, but is already a lovely mouthful.
- Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide, NZ


“Off-dry and very impressive … The palate has immensely fleshy appeal and a neat resolve and balance”
- Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com, USA
“Pure, fresh, fruity and alluring bouquet … Long and delicious finish.  A lovely wine ….”
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.com, NZ
“   stunning delicious wine … bright and mouthwatering … lingering finish”
- Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, USA
Luscious Riesling … a delicious wine …”
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
“  one of New Zealand’s most seductively succulent Rieslings. … full body and powerful lingering finish”
- Joelle Thomson, joellethomson.com, NZ


“Offering up pronounced notes of lemon marmalade, acacia honey… offers a fair bit off rich, unctuous sweetness. Marked by a racy acid backbone, which cuts through the appealing viscosity …, the refreshing finish goes on and on.”
- Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, eRobertParker.com, USA
“Bold and rich scents of honey, syrup, sweet citrus, apple tart tatin and poached orchard fruits. On the palate - lush and juicy with significant acidity and weight …. A delicious wine!“ 
- Cameron Douglas MS, camerondouglasms.blogspot.co.nz, NZ
“... It’s cleansing yet indulgent at the same time. Gorgeous stuff.“ 
- Yvonne Lorkin, yvonnelorkin.com, NZ
Excellent to outstanding
“…A sweet, powerful and intense wine … layers of flavour: textural and richly creamy: sweetness yet with zingy acidity keeping it fresh.  Delicious.
- Mark Henderson, Otago Daily Times, NZ
“…. excellent acidity and tension to match the unctuousness, … carries with brightness and energy to a very long moderately sweet and luscious finish ….  This is a beautifully elegant and harmoniously entwined late-pick Riesling” 
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ


“. . Exotic fruits and spices offer a delicious package of flavours. Full-flavoured wine with a smooth texture and lingering finish. Very classy sticky . “
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbell.nz, NZ
This has an elegant, fresh and tightly bound nose with excellent presence and depth of exotic floral fragrances and lime fruit aromas intermixed with wild honey and marmalade botrytis. The integrity of the fruit shows in floral and lime clarity and the detail of nuance is beautiful….The fruit is underlined by subtle phenolic textures that emerge to balance the richness and lusciousness. This has great weight, depth and presence, with lively acidity providing the palate energy and drive. The wine flows positively to a full blossoming, sustained finish with florals, honey and musk notes.This is a beautifully fragrant and exotic sweet Riesling with a rich, finely textured palate of great presence and line.
- Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ


Made from a selection of bunches with shrivelled berries for greater concentration. A delicious vintage for Aria with tree fruit and bush honey flavours. Moderately sweet Riesling but not so sweet that it can’t be enjoyed as a delicious aperitif. A successful vintage for an iconic New Zealand dessert wine style.
- Bob Campbell MW, bobcampbellwinereviews.com, NZ
"The cool 2012 season has given this sweet and rich Riesling precision and drive. It has dense concentration of fruit suggesting low yields in the vineyard….. While sweet, it is clean and precise, and would suit spicy food although I'm happy to drink glass after glass of it without any accompaniment.
- Rebecca Gibb, rebeccagibb.com, NZ 
This is a beautifully elegant and refined sweet Riesling with a balance between decadence and freshness.
-Raymond Chan, raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, NZ


92/100 Points
“wonderfully honeyed/musky character on the nose … rich and generously fruited in the mouth, it has a good backbone of refreshing acidity and a very long finish.”
—Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, USA
“A very classy wine … It should flourish for many years.”
—Michael Cooper's Buyer’s Guide 2012, NZ
95/100 Points
“It’s stunning on the nose … the palate is concentrated and generous with rich texture and lovely sweetness which is superbly balanced by the refreshing acidity.”
—Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, NZ


“Peach, honey and mandarines with a mineral delicacy. Lovely freshness on the finish balanced by residual sugar. Delicious.”
—Rebecca Gibb, Decanter, UK
“Stunning – THE wine of the tasting and a sure fire GOLD in any tasting it enters. The flavours just go on and on and the mouthfeel is oily and opulent. You MUST try this.”
—TizWine.com, NZ
“Just one of the many strings in the bow of top-notch New Zealand producer Pegasus Bay, this is a wonderfully refreshing yet intensely sweet wine. Immediately identifiable as Riesling, it has a lemony, zesty freshness and superb balance. It’s hard to imagine anyone not loving this wine.”
—Beverley Blanning MW, Sommelier Journal, US
“… is a classy, very elegant Waipara wine, … fresh, pure, late harvest fruit flavours, showing excellent richness. Finely focused, with a luscious sweetness … coupled with mouth-watering acidity, it’s a beauty.”
—Michael Cooper, Winestate, AUS


17.5/20 Points
“Deep lemon with lots of evolution on the nose. Honeyed wine with lots of acidity and lots of sugar - probably very difficult to make and much more complex and ambitious than most. Bravo! A real product of the vineyard. Very zesty. Hovers between medium dry and medium sweet”
—Jancis Robinson, UK
“…This wine underscores the multi-talented nature of Riesling. Poised, balanced and far from sugar dominated…”
—Cuisine Magazine, NZ
97/100 Points
“Pegasus Bay, in the Waipara region near Christchurch, makes some of New Zealand's most exotic wines. This magnificent sweet wine, perfumed beautifully and beguiling. Pristine fruit flavours and perfect balance in the mouth.”
—Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald, Good Living, AUS
“The 2007 Vintage is an elegant, slightly honeyed Waipara wine with lovely ripeness and richness...great harmony.”
—Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide, 2009, NZ
—WineState Magazine, AUS
Download Reviews

Pegasus Bay

Are you over 18?

To enter this website you must be of legal drinking age.

Off Licence.
Licence Holder:Donaldson Family Limited T/A:Pegasus Bay Winery.
Licence no:57/OFF/458/2022 Exp:16/3/2025