“ …concentrated yet elegant pinot noir, … Compelling”
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 and two spouses involved, managing various aspects.
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. The soil is free draining and 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.
Warm and settled weather during flowering led to a very large initial set. Fruit thinning was then undertaken to bring the crop back to the desired level. A perfect summer, followed by a warm dry autumn enabled the subsequent grapes to be harvested with excellent flavour development and physiological ripeness.
It is deep ruby in colour, with a complex and compelling boquet full of pomegranate, cherry, vanilla, chocolate and spice. There is also a pleasing savouriness, offering up notes of game, mushroom and thyme. The palate is concentrated and rich, with fine grained tannins that add texture and weight. Complementing this is a core of refreshing minerality that gives the wine a lively tension, resulting in superb strucutre and length. While ready to drink on release it can be expected to cellar well and evolve gracefully for many years.
“ …concentrated yet elegant pinot noir, … Compelling”
“This is stunningly beautiful; ..complex bouquet … sumptuous on the palate with rich texture and flowing mouthfeel, offering awesome power and well as elegance …”
“ … rich, concentrated and quite savoury pinot noir, … very complex wine. Firmly structured but accessible …”
“Grand, majestic and complex pinot noir that has an expansive, entrancing style … deep flavoursome … expansive rising finish. Superb! …”
“ … Complex … Fine velvet tannins supported by acidity a vibrato of textures, quite a lengthy complex finish"
The refinement and brilliance of the fruit on offer here really sets this wine apart from the regular Pegasus Bay pinot noir. Deliciously rich dark cherry aromas and flavors are presented amid silky, refined and long-form tannins. A great wine, in every respect.
"Prima Donna Pinot Noir is an elite barrel selection and in 2013 it is one of the greatest wines I have ever seen from this country. ….”
“ …. Deep, plush, rather powerful Pinot Noir with rich, ripe tannins and excellent length.”
” …. mouth-filling red berry flavours supported by finely grained tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and earthy.”
Rated one of the best Pinot Noirs in the world (outside of Burgundy)
“…immense purity and is terrifically crunchy. There are red cherries at the core, dark spices, earth and fine chocolate at the edge. It's very long and direct. Will age magnificently”
“….rich and complex wine with impressive weight and intensity….Powerful wine with obvious cellaring potential”.
Pegasus Bay’s winemaking team uses traditional Burgundian methods, including small vat fermentation and ageing the wine in French oak barriques for 18 months. Made “in small quantities in the best vintages from the oldest vines”, this flagship pinot noir is a powerful combination of intense plum, cherry and berry flavours with haunting floral notes, Oriental spices and an intriguing savoury, forest floor, rustic character. A delicious pinot with ageing potential.
A composed, svelte and powerful pinot with terrific focus and a real sense of freshness. The complexity has been cleverly engineered into place and is all spicy, brambly and foresty. The palate has sheets of tannin tilted upright, is very linear, focused and composed, long and uncompromising, yet smooth and polished. A class act.
“… opens to reveal complex scents of raspberry, cola, musky spices and flowers. Sappy and fresh, with
terrific depth and intensity to the lightly saline flavors of raspberry, bitter cherry and spices. This very firmly built wine finishes with a youthfully bitter quality and solid tannic spine for aging. Give it a double decanting if you plan to broach a bottle any time soon--or, better yet, cellar it for five years….”
“Medium-bodied, the palate is led by a solid structure of medium to firm grainy tannins and crisp acid supporting the muscular red berry and savoury flesh, finishing long.”
'Top Wine of NZ tasting (100's tasted)' “…downright Chambolle-like. Sweet and densely packed but youthfully tight, with impressive inner-mouth energy giving the intense red berry and mineral flavours terrific penetration. The superb rising finish saturates the palate with mineral-driven fruit. This is painfully backward today and may yet merit an even higher score with a few years in bottle.”
“This is crazy pure with strawberry, flowers, raspberries and licorice. Full and very dense with fabulous tannins and length. Chewy yet polished. Drink or hold.”
“... should flourish for a decade. Deep and youthful in colour, it is powerful and finely fragrant, with dense cherry, plum and slight liquorice flavours, deliciously rich and well-rounded.
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