“Decadently luscious Riesling"
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 now involved.
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. They are located on the “Glasnevin Gravels” where greywacke stones, silt and loam have been washed down from the mountains over the millennia. The soil is 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.
Settled weather over flowering provided a healthy fruit set, which was then thinned back to desired levels. The ensuing summer was dry with very little rain, resulting in perfectly ripened small berries full of intense flavour and concentration. Thankfully, our harvest was able to proceed during the C-19 lockdown, and an unbroken autumn full of warm days meant each variety was picked at its optimum ripeness.
Aria is part of Pegasus Bay’s reserve series and is the sister wine to our Bel Canto dry riesling. Both are only made in exceptional years that are favourable for the development of noble botrytis. After an extended hang time, the bunches were hand selected with a portion of between 30-50% botrytis and a ripeness of approximately 28 Brix. The grapes were then gently pressed, and the juice fermented slowly at cool temperatures to help the wine retain its vibrant fruit characters and varietal purity. At all stages, from fermentation to bottling, it was handled very carefully to help retain a little of its natural carbon dioxide. This has resulted in a small amount of spritzig, which adds extra liveliness to the wine and accentuates its freshness.
Upon release the colour is deep lemon. Delicate floral aromas of citrus blossom and jasmine rise to greet the nose, expanding to tropical notes of pineapple and lychee, with splashes of honey and ginger. In the mouth the wine is rich and multi-layered, its body and texture balanced with a refreshing tanginess through the mid to back palate. Charming sweetness is backed by lively acidity that ensures the wine remains clean and bright, with a long and rewarding close.
“Decadently luscious Riesling"
“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.”
“… A luscious, opulent, viscous, full-bodied botrytis style with enough acid to balance the richness. Well done.”
“… 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”
“Offering opulence as well as sophistication … delicious sweetness and refreshing acidity”
“… notable depth and harmony. It should be long-lived, but is already a lovely mouthful.”
“Off-dry and very impressive … The palate has immensely fleshy appeal and a neat resolve and balance”
“Pure, fresh, fruity and alluring bouquet … Long and delicious finish. A lovely wine ….”
“ stunning delicious wine … bright and mouthwatering … lingering finish”
“Luscious Riesling … a delicious wine …”
“ one of New Zealand’s most seductively succulent Rieslings. … full body and powerful lingering finish”
“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.”
“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!“
“... It’s cleansing yet indulgent at the same time. Gorgeous stuff.“
“…A sweet, powerful and intense wine … layers of flavour: textural and richly creamy: sweetness yet with zingy acidity keeping it fresh. Delicious.”
“…. 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”
“. . Exotic fruits and spices offer a delicious package of flavours. Full-flavoured wine with a smooth texture and lingering finish. Very classy sticky . “
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.
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.
"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.
This is a beautifully elegant and refined sweet Riesling with a balance between decadence and freshness.
“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.”
“A very classy wine … It should flourish for many years.”
“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.”
“Peach, honey and mandarines with a mineral delicacy. Lovely freshness on the finish balanced by residual sugar. Delicious.”
“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.”
“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.”
“… 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.”
“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”
“…This wine underscores the multi-talented nature of Riesling. Poised, balanced and far from sugar dominated…”
“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.”
“The 2007 Vintage is an elegant, slightly honeyed Waipara wine with lovely ripeness and richness...great harmony.”
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