“Pegasus Bay Merlot Cabernet ages like clockwork”
The vines are carefully trained by hand so that the leaves and bunches are fully exposed to the sun. This includes the removal of all leaves which may shade the grapes. A mild spring was followed by a warm, but not overly hot summer. The dominant force in the season, however, was the amazing Indian summer. From March onwards, temperatures were well above average and, combined with a long, lingering, dry autumn, the grapes were harvested fully ripe and in optimum condition. Low crops resulted in extra concentration.
After harvest the grapes were fermented in the traditional manner of Bordeaux Claret, with the juice being drained from the vat at regular intervals, aerated and then pumped back over the floating “cap” of skins to keep them moist. This procedure was carried out in small batches and after fermentation the grapes were allowed to macerate on the skins for a period, the duration of which was determined by taste and varied from batch to batch. After pressing, the resultant wine was matured for 18 months in oak barriques, 30% of which were new. During this time it had 5-6 rackings carried out to allow clarification with out fining.
When the weather warmed in the spring flowing harvest, it went through spontaneous, natural malo-lactic fermentation through the action of the vineyards indigenous bacteria. The cabernet sauvignon provides cassis-like characters, a big structure and a firm back-bone of tannins. Merlot gives hints of blackberries and ripe plums and fills out the mid-palate with succulent, sweet fruit. Both malbec and cabernet franc from our vineyard provide lifted, almost rose-petal-like aromas and the former adds length and chunky tannins, while elegance is a hallmark of the latter.
The wine provides a complex, but unified array of fruit aromas and flavours, backed up by cigar-box and vanillin hints from the oak. While the palate is very concentrated and full, the ripe tannins provide a velvety finish. With careful cellaring, the wine should develop in the bottle over the next 6-8 years and drink well for 10-15 years.
“Pegasus Bay Merlot Cabernet ages like clockwork”
“It's gorgeously ripe and lifted on the nose … wonderfully flavoursome palate delivering excellent weight and plump mouthfeel. Well structured by beautifully infused tannins, it's bold yet stylish with a persistent robust finish.”
“A delicious dark and complex blend … from North Canterbury, where long, dry autumns can offer ripe, rich, dark flavours. Add great winemaking into the mix and here is an exceptional value red that drinks beautifully now and can age further.”
“I really like the flower and red fruits here that flow across the palate. Medium-bodied with fine tannins and a reserved finish. Very classy ...”
“… Savoury chocolate notes add depth to the black-fruited palate.”
“This superb full-bodied blend hails from the Waipara Valley in the heart of North Canterbury … Dark blackberry fruit flavours marry nicely with the smooth soft appeal of Merlot.”
“… A saucy blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and cabernet franc … velvety-smooth textures and layers of plum, mocha, hints of leather and tobacco leaf on the palate … Yum!.”
“… very good complexity, gentle tannins, and a supple, finely textured finish.”
“Big, brooding, earthy, Bordelais style … full-bodied, nicely weighted with rich, chewy tannins and positive length ….”
“ … Seductively smooth-textured wine … Delicious, complex red with good cellaring potential. Clearly from a top vintage …”
“Richly fruited and enticing … flavoursome in the mouth with excellent weight and persistency. Plump and fleshy with a prolonged delicious finish.”
“The wine possesses power and good energy generated by richness and concentration. This is readily delicious, with elegant and poise on a well-structured palate….”
“Remarkable red that probably owes much of its rich, ripe flavours to relatively old vines and the experienced hand of winemaker, Mat Donaldson …”
“… Well made, youthful, fleshy and long. A lovely example ready to enjoy …”
“… mouthfiling with concentration, vibrant blackcurrant, plum, herb and spice flavours, showing good complexity, finely balanced tannins and obvious cellaring potential.”
"Delightfully fruited and fragrant … succulent and smooth … finishing long and flavoursome"
“...Concentrated … This is a refined Merlot and Cabernet based blend … on a vibrant palate with fine structure”
“ … Dry, firm textures, youthful, ripe and loaded with flavour …Plenty of length and finish … “
“ … Powerful, juicy, dark fruits dance on the palate …Sumptuous fine-grained tannins and beautiful balance… Amazingly long and delicious finish …”
“ … This has richness and fullness on the palate with plump plums holding very deep, fleshy and long”
“An impressive wine for the ball of succulent ripe plum-flavored fruit it dishes up amid succulently ripe tannins and fresh, earthy, background complexity. This has all-round appeal, casual or formal!”
“ … strong, vibrant blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, finely integrated oak, ripe, supple tannins, and excellent depth, complexity and harmony.”
“ …. immensely appealing …. Excellent length"
“ … Lovely bouquet of fruit, mineral, concentration and charm … complex and intriguing … Great example from Canterbury”
"…The nose is seamlessly melded and reveals fragrant spices, musk and a suggestion of camphor. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly concentrated with integrated flavours ... good depth and the palate flows smoothly with satin-like tannins, and underlying acid vitality. ... long, complex….”
“Full-coloured, with fresh plum, spice and nutty oak flavours, showing excellent complexity and depth."
impressive complexity…” Good intensity of flavours…The oak is perfectly integrated and there’s a lovely round, supple texture in the mouth, giving superb structure and balance
100 best wines "Chewy, fleshy red with plum, dark berry chocolate/mocha and nutty oak flavours. Deliciously accessible red.”
"Top Tip" “From an excellent vintage this is a bold and intense wine with aromas and flavours of dark plums, blackberries, cassis and blueberries. It has mealy style that makes it dense and long lasting.”
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