Cool weather during flowering reduced the set on the vines, which resulted in a smallish crop. The rest of the season, however, as excellent with a long, warm autumn. The grapes were thus picked in optimal condition and the reduced crop ensured excellent oncentration in the wine.


As the wine is made from classical Claret varieties it was vinted in the traditional Bordelaise manner with the juice being regularly drained from the bottom of the vat, aerated by splashing and then pumped back over the floating cap of grape skins and pulp to help keep it moist and aid extraction. When fermentation had stopped the grape remnants were left steeping in the wine, the exact period for each batch being determined by regular tasting. After the wine had been separated from the skins, it as matured in French oak barriques, 30% of which were new, and remained there for 18 months. During this period, it was racked 4-5 times so that it clarified without requiring filtration. When the weather warmed in the barrel cellar in the early summer following harvest, it went through natural malo-lactic fermentation by the action of its own microorganisms. Because the wine was so rich and robustly structured it was taken out of the barriques and put into very large old oak vats to give it a further period of maturation in cask without gaining oak character. It remained there for a further 18 months so that it had a period of 3 years aging before bottling. We have 6 clones of merlot, 3 clones of malbec, 2 clones of cabernet sauvignon
and 1 clone of cabernet franc. Each of these was made and matured separately, the final wine being carefully blended according to taste just prior to bottling.


The merlot (75%) provides a core of plump, rich, mouth-filling fruit with impressions of purple-fleshed plums and peaches. The malbec (15%) adds a backbone of fine, grained tannins, which give muscularity, structure and length, preventing the wine from being too flabby or fat. An ethereal, lifted aroma and freshness come from the cabernet franc(5%), while cabernet sauvignon (5%)
provides zesty, cassis and wild blackberry hints. There are also underlying savoury impressions of black olives, grilled meats and the like, which will become more prominent as the wine mellows with age. While ready to drink on release it can be expected to develop a range of different, fascinating nuances as it integrates and matures over the next 5-10 years and should live well beyond.

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”An inviting nose of blackcurrants, ink, coffee bean, pine and fresh mint … Black fruit laced with oak washes over the palate with pleasant spice and herbal complexity. Lingers on the palate.”
- James Suckling Wine Reviews,, USA


The Maestro represents the best of the Pegasus Bay Bordeaux fruit. I was privileged to receive a pre-release sample and all I can suggest is that you get in the queue. There is a class about its swagger and I just want more … Dangerously smooth, its silky presence oozes the prestige of the label it represents … I found fascinating … “

- Steve Leszczynski, Qwine,, AUS

“… it is a powerful, sturdy red highly concentrated and a silky-smooth texture. Weighty, rich and rounded
- Michael Cooper,, NZ

“… This densely constructed red blend shows power, complexity and a mealy, long, savoury finish.
- Candice Chow,, NZ

Magnificently styled and seductive … it's gorgeously layered in the mouth displaying velvety texture backed by loads of silky tannins. Plush and multi-layered with stunning complexity and length.” 
- Sam Kim,, NZ


Maestro is one of the top reds in this country … It is a dense, dark, full-bodied red Impressive is an understatement
- Joelle Thomson, drinksbiz Magazine, NZ

“It's superbly fruited and hugely appealing wonderfully concentrated and richly expressed delectably enticing …” 
- Sam Kim,, NZ
“… This is a brilliant NZ South island Bordeaux blend with richness and concentration … Only made in exceptional years”
- Candice Chow,, NZ

“… A delicious meaty wine with muscle, power, flavour and finish. Love it!

- Cameron Douglas MS,, NZ
“... One of the South Island's greatest 'Bordeaux-style' reds, it should flourish for a decade.” 
- Michael Cooper,, NZ
” … Super fine tannins deliver a ball of spiced, dark-chocolate-coated black cherries and plum liqueur …”
- Nick Stock,, USA


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,, USA
“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,, NZ
Densely fruited … the flavours harnessed by a touch of silky tannin.  Long finish
- Winestate Magazine, AUS
"… a medium to full-bodied red, with mouthwatering fruit and a long, dry, silky finish.”
- Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, USA
“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,, NZ
“ … Full bodied powerful style …Good stuff.”
- Gary Walsh, The Winefront, AUS


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,, USA
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.
-, NZ


“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/458/2022 Exp:16/3/2025