“Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon is one of my favourite New Zealand Wines”
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, and the autumn was warm, dry and lingering. We were thus able to harvest beautifully ripened, flavoursome grapes which had retained good levels of natural acidity.
After harvesting the grapes were gently pressed and the sauvignon blanc juice was put into stainless steel tanks and allowed to undergo fermentation by the action of its own indigenous or wild yeasts. During this time it was maintained at low temperatures to help preserve its varietal vibrancy and intensity. The semillon was put into old French oak barriques and also underwent wild fermentation due to its own micro-organisms. Neither the sauvignon blanc or semillon juice was clarified before the fermentation commenced and when this had ceased, both the wines were left sitting for 9 months on the natural deposits which had formed during this time (sur lie). This was to help them develop extra complexity, mid-palate texture and creaminess. The sauvignon and semillon portions were then blended according to taste prior to bottling.
The low crops have helped give this traditional French blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon extra concentration and depth. The bouquet shows the exotic characters of lychee, paw paw and passionfruit, underlain by nuances of gooseberry. These come from the sauvignon. The semillon provides complimentary lemon and lime flavours as well as structure and length on the palate. The wild fermentation has added a racy component of Turkish musk complexity. While ready to drink on release, with careful cellaring, the wine will develop an array of other fascinating characters and the semillon should help it live for 5-10 years of more.
“Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon is one of my favourite New Zealand Wines”
“ … The palate is dry with plenty of extract and a sense of innate power within a honed core. It is firm and focused with texture and weight … This is a complex, layered white Bordeaux blend …”
“This maverick take on a dry white Bordeaux blend has superb complexity aligned with freshness … It is a beautiful drink now and can age for up to a decade …”
“… A bold and distinctive white wine …”
“This distinctive Waipara, North Canterbury wine is concentrated and complex, with loads of personality …”
“Complex and attractive … a delicious textured wine … The lees and light wood notes add complexity and length …”
“ … The flavours are complex and weighty; richness and ripe phenolics contribute to an unctuous palate and a lengthy finish … “
“… Lengthy with excellent concentration"
“… Fantastic depth … Creamy and layered, with a long, vivid and tangy finish.”
“Exotic and very floral ... Delicious, fresh, salty and mouth watering with a long finish.”
“ … an intensity of concentration on the midpalate that packs a punch … It's idiosyncratic but it's also intriguing.”
“A beautiful wine for savouring now or cellaring …”
“Wonderfully fruited and complex … it's powerfully expressive and persistent on the palate delivering excellent weight … Harmonious and flavoursome with engaging flavours."
“ … The combination offers a great deal of complexity and punch, with the rich, concentrated nuances, lends a sophisticated, long finish … “
“Flint, dried-apple and stone aromas follow through to a full body with depth and intensity. Very dry and layered. Even chewy. Dried mango at the end. Flavourful finish. Solid.”
“Wonderfully complex and engaging … It's richly textured with firm acidity, making it structured and immensely long on the finish”.
“ … Harmonious and complete … dynamic citrus and stone fruit flavours. Delicious, balanced and well made.”.
“ … young but likely to gain in complexity thanks to the balance that is already obvious. Crisp but deep”.
“This is a new vintage of one of the country’s best dry whites from North canterbury’s Pegasus Bay Winery … Drinks deliciously well now and can age for at least a decade …”.
“ … This is always a consistent wine and it ages very well - easily a decade, often more …”.
“The distinctive North Canterbury wine has loads of personality…”
“Totally captivating bouquet … A totally delicious wine - I wish more people could discover this fantastic example.” .
“… Gorgeously complex and engaging … concentrated palate that's vibrant and richly textured at the same time … opulent and powerful … mouth-watering.”.
“ a very complex and zesty style … a rich, powerfully concentrated frame. … ”
“ … The distinctive North Canterbury wine has loads of personality … and a tightly structured, lasting finish."
“ … the palate is well balanced and quite precise and detailed, presenting a fine bead of acidity … Excellent”
“ … The nose is firmly concentrated and beautifully proportioned with elegant, but intensely concentrated aromas …. Elegant, vibrant, finely concentrated ….”
“Concentrated and quite funky wine, with weight and texture ..."
“A very concentrated full-tilt take on the Style . A wealth of ripe lemon, cool herbs and bright tropical fruit accents as well as papaya on the palate. Flesh and acidity are well matched”.
“An absolute classic, none of our judges were surprised….. absolutely set the bar for this exotic and exciting style over the decades. …Gorgeous stuff.”
“This is one of the South Island’s most complex and interesting white wines ….. richly textural white, modelled on the best Bordeaux whites and putting Canterbury’s finest”
“… intensely scented … medium to full-bodied with a decadent oiliness to the texture, it fills the palate … finishing with great persistence …”
“ One of my favourite New Zealand wines and one that I buy extremely regularly and love even more every time I open it – again, it’s all about savoury flavours … complex creamy notes … fresh and zesty”
“…Really leaves the taste buds quivering … A rather uncompromising, idiosyncratic Sauvignon-Semillon blend in the style of a white Bordeaux.”
“… This is a moderately rich, concentrated and harmoniously presented Sauvignon/Semillon blend with subtle complexities and a soft, dry finish. ….”
“ … concentrated and complex, with loads of personality … A very distinctive wine”
"This wine has excellent fruit freshness, complexity balance and length. Oatmeal, stone fruit and tropical fruits with complexity. In the mouth a complex cascading quince citrus and finishing lychee awash in tropical zesty acidity with fresh ripe citrus, passionfruit, guava, lemon and pink grapefruits all offering flavours to drive exceptional length and complexity.”
”The fruit richness is balanced and cut by crisp acidity, and the palate is elegant in proportion with a fine phenolic line smoothly carrying the wine. As the wine flows, the palate tends to dryness and the flavours lead to a long, lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Sauvignon/Semillon blend with fresh, fruit and a fine linearity and dry mouthfeel. …”
This is a seriously powerful white wine and clearly semillon is an excelsior in the blend; wonderfully decedent and invigorating, drinking well now but you can sense with its unbridled power and cut it will cellar for 10 years or more.
A serious and muscular Sauvignon dominant blend with ripe green fruits and a complex smoky, flinty element.
Pale straw-tinged yellow. Complex, bracing aromas of gooseberry, white pepper, ginger, quinine, crushed stone and dusty herbs, plus a hint of lanolin. Broad, spicy and quite dry, with firm acidity giving excellent cut to the subtle flavors of citrus fruits and floral oils; more concentrated than the overwhelming majority of New Zealand's sauvignon-based wines. The long finish features a bitter-edged grapefruit note that calls for a year or two of patience.
The flavours lead to a very long, lingering, tightly bound finish. This is a very elegant, concentrated Sauvignon Blanc based wine with very fine textures and complex flavours.
This is one of the country’s best sauvignon blancs, but not as you normally know it. A little Semillon in this blend goes a long way towards creating a rainbow of flavours…The result is complex, fascinating flavours with richness, depth and length to burn.
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