Featured Reviews

Pegasus Bay 2015 Bel Canto, 2014 Pinot Noir and 2016 Encore

11 September,2017
When it comes to Riesling and Pinot Noir, the signature varieties for the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury, Pegasus Bay are leaders. The Donaldson family’s take is the expression of the region and also of style, rather than single-site terroir. As winemaker Mat Donaldson notes, single sites do show an individual character and terroir, but not all of them are worthy of capturing and expressing. I’m sure the Donaldson’s are very aware of the terroirs of their vineyards, but the Pegasus Bay wines are crafted to style, and the style is particularly connected with the tastes of the sophisticated consumer. Maybe some time in the future, Pegasus Bay will feature single vineyard bottlings? Here, I review the Pegasus Bay 2015 ‘Bel Canto’ Riesling, 2014 Pinot Noir, and 2016 ‘Encore’ Noble Riesling, all stylistically at the top of their game. www.pegasusbay.com


Pegasus Bay ‘Bel Canto’ Waipara Valley Dry Riesling 2015

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with rich and concentrated, well-packed aromas of ripe citrus fruits along with honey, marmalade and musk, unfolding exotic floral elements. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated, dense heart packed with harmoniously integrated flavours of ripe citrus fruits, marmalade, honeysuckle and musk. This has real body and presence, and the palate has a rounded and gently unctuous mouthfeel. The acidity is ripe and soft, providing underlying energy and drive, and the wine carries to a long, lingering finish of honey, citrus fruits and musk. This is a full and concentrated dry Riesling with ripe citrus fruits, honey, musk and marmalade botrytis flavours on a rounded, unctuous palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 4+ years. Hand-picked bunches with at least 30% noble botrytis, cool-fermented in tank to 13.6% alc. and 7.2 g/L RS, TA 6.3 g/L. 18.5+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $35.00

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Full, even, dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The bouquet is full, soft and voluminous with complex aromas of savoury red berry and cherry fruit entwined with dried herbs and undergrowth, a little funky game nuances and whole bunch stalk perfumes, unveiling lifted red florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate has gently concentrated and evenly presented flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit harmoniously melded with savoury dark herbs, earthy notes, and subtle whole bunch stalk perfumes, lifted by red floral nuances, The fruit flavours are enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and supported by moderately extracted, fine-grained, supple tannins. The wine flows smoothly to a dry finish of red fruits and dried herbs. This is a gently concentrated, harmonious Pinot Noir with complex savoury dark-red cherry and berry fruit with dried herb and earthy notes on a supple, smooth, finely extracted palate. Match with mushroom dishes, casseroles and game meat dishes over the next 5+ years. Multi-clone blend, many of the vines over 30 y.o. and ungrafted, indigenous yeast fermented with 20-25% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $50.00

Pegasus Bay ‘Encore’ Waipara Valley Noble Riesling 2016

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, golden-yellow with some depth, a little paler on the edge. This has an elegantly concentrated and intense nose with refined and beautifully penetrating aromas of exotic tropical fruits, orange and lime marmalade, honeycomb and nectar, along with a complexing layer of talc and musky botrytis, Very sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a concentrated core of ripe exotic tropical fruit, pineapple, with lime and orange marmalade, honey, and rich talc and musky botrytis. The palate has depth and unctuousness, balanced by fruit extract and fine phenolic textures, underlined by fresh, crisp acidity. This has strong drive and linearity, and the wine carries to a long, lingering finish of exotic fruits, honey, marmalade and musk. This is a deliciously rich and near-unctuous, concentrated Noble Riesling with exotic tropical fruits, marmalade, honey and musk on a driven, fine-textured palate. Serve with fruit and baked desserts, and crème caramel over the next 5+ years. Hand-picked fruit with full botrytis infection, selected over several passes of the vines, at 45°Brix, cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 177 g/L TS and TA 9.6 g/L. (375 ml) 19.0+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $40.00
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