RRP $32.50


The Donaldson Family have been seriously involved in viticulture and winemaking for over 40 years. Founder Ivan Donaldson planted one of Canterbury’s first vineyards 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 now involved.


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. They are located on the “Glasnevin Gravels” where greywacke stones, silt and loam have been washed down from the mountains over the millennia. The soil is 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.


Cold weather during bud burst resulted in lower crop levels, hence no further fruit thinning was carried out. The subsequent warm dry summer served up perfectly ripened small berries full of intense flavour and concentration. Favourable conditions continued into autumn, allowing the grapes to be picked at their optimum ripeness.


Malbec is a Bordeaux varietal, and therefore we have used traditional winemaking methods from this region. After being picked in the first half of April, the grapes began fermentation naturally in stainless steel tanks. During this process the juice was regularly pumped over the cap of floating grape skins (rather than plunging), to ensure a perfect tannin balance was extracted from the fruit. The wine was then gently pressed off and put into French oak barriques (30% new). The following summer, when the weather warmed, it underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing in oak for 18 months, the wine was then racked several times allowing it to clarify naturally, prior to bottling.


It has a dense inky hue upon release. Brooding yet seductive aromas march stealthily from the glass, dark fruit reminiscent of bramble and blackberry, followed by a surge of sweet tobacco, cacao, leather, and roast game, spliced with hints of black pepper, nutmeg, and cloves. The mouthfeel is muscular, dense, and savoury, with invigorating acidity and persistent tannins carving their way across a spice laden palate. Impressively concentrated, this wine showcases bounteous fruit weight balanced with a coiled tension that accelerates towards a powerful, lengthy finish. While ready to drink now, it will evolve harmoniously in the bottle for many years to come.

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