“Pegasus Bay Merlot Cabernet ages like clockwork”
The growing season was special in that there was overall good heat summation without extremes of temperature and the autumn was dry, warm and very prolonged. This lead to very even ripening with the development of true varietal flavours and retention of good levels of natural acidity.
We gave the vines a lot of individual attention. This included careful positioning of shoots and the removal of excess leaves to prevent shading, both within the canopy and in the fruiting zone. Crop reduction was carried out at veraison by ‘green harvest’ during which individual bunches and grapes that were lagging behind were removed. There was also rigorous selection of fruit at harvest to ensure only the best was included.
The wine was fermented in the traditional Bordeaux Claret manner with the juice regularly being aerated by draining and splashing it from the vat and then pumping it over the cap of floating skins to keep them moist. After fermentation had finished the wine remained in contact with the skins for a period “post fermentation maceration”. The duration of this varied from batch to batch and was assessed by daily tasting to help evaluate the evolution of its tannic structure. When this was felt to be optimum, the wine was separated from the skins and then matured in oak barriques, 30% of which were new, for 18 months. During this time the wine had between 4-6 rackings to achieve clarity.
The wine is a classical claret blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and cabernet franc. Six clones of merlot, 2 clones of cabernet sauvignon, 3 clones of malbec and 1 clone of cabernet franc were used. Each clone was harvested, vinted and matured separately. The proportions of these which went to make up the final assemblage or blend, was determined by taste.
This is the first year in which merlot has been the predominant varietal in this blend. It provides plump, plumy characters and a framework of ripe tannins. The cabernet sauvignon adds blackcurrant and cassis elements, while the malbec provides an additional aromatic, rose-petal-like element and supports the structure. The cabernet franc adds a lively fruitiness.
While ready to drink on release, the wine should benefit from careful cellaring for the next 5-10 years, showing increasing complexity and harmony.
“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.”
To enter this website you must be of legal drinking age.