Pegasus Bay is an award-winning, family-owned winery based on the South Island of New Zealand in Waipara Valley. The Donaldson family produce their Pinot Noir using classic Burgundian techniques resulting in a French style Burgundy but with New Zealand Pinot Noir depth and body, the best of both worlds.
Pegasus Bay summarises the vineyard and why it produces such high quality grapes: "Within the Waipara Valley Pegasus Bay vineyard gets maximum protection from the Pacific’s easterly breezes by being tucked up under the lee of the Teviotdale Range. Its sheltered position, but proximity to the sea, give it warm days, cool nights and a dry autumn, resulting in a very prolonged ripening period. This promotes intense flavour development and optimal ripeness, while retaining good natural acidity."
Pegasus Bay practises sustainable viticulture, using natural methods to counteract pest and diseases rather than applying pesticides and herbicides.
Slightly darker in colour than you might expect from a Pinot Noir but with a classic Pinot Noir nose, this 2013 vintage oozes fruit - on the nose really ripe, juicy black fruits - cherries, plums, mulberries with a little dark chocolate and a hint of smokiness.
2013 was described as a "perfect growing season" with a mild spring, a sunny but not too hot summer and a long dry autumn which meant that the grapes reached optimal ripeness but also retained good natural acidity. Therefore intense, ripe black and red fruit dominate the palate with the acidity making this wine truly mouthwatering. The more savoury, spicy flavours are developing and the chocolate is evident in the background. There is a long finish of redcurrant and pomegranate juice. A complex and fresh Pinot Noir with a creamy texture.
Recommended to eat with chicken, duck, goose, pigeon, liver, beef steak, venison, spicy dishes, mushrooms, cherries and figs.
"A mild spring was followed by a sunny summer and a lingering dry autumn. It was a perfect growing season with enough warmth to produce optimal ripeness but it was not too hot to destroy varietal purity or freshness.
The upfront aromas and flavours suggest raspberry, pomegranate, black cherry, purple plum, chocolate and spice. These overlie savoury hints of barbecued meats, grilled mushrooms and black olive tapenade. It is richly textured and mouth filling with powerful but velvety tannins that flow evenly through the palate, helping to draw out the lingering aftertaste. While ready to drink on release it can be expected to cellar well and evolve gracefully for many years."
96 points Tyson Stelzer Australian & New Zealand Wines of the Year 2017
And one of the Top Ten wines < AU$80
""An enticingly refined and elegantly understated Pegasus Bay that articulately tells the tale of a perfect season, evolving in slow motion from start to finish. It effortlessly unravels into focused red cherry fruit, underscored by impeccably mineral, tightly defined tannins that define a grand finish of unshakable line and enduring persistence. Nuances of exotic spice accent a masterfully crafted expression of a remarkable site."
19 points Raymond Chan Dec 2016
"... a well-proportioned and concentrated nose with deep aroma of ripe, dark-red berry fruit with a core of savoury dark herbs, unfolding full waves of ethereal aromatics of red floral perfumes, herbs, spices and nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, this has a rich, lively, vibrant and complex-detailed palate with flavours of dark-red berry fruits and subtle layers of savoury dark herbs, along with an array of dark-red florals, spice notes and nutty oak. The mouthfeel is sweet, lush and lively, balanced by fine-grained tannin extraction and excellent, underlying acid vitality. The rich flavours are mouthfilling and carry to a long, lingering finish. This is a rich, vibrant and mouthfilling, complex-detailed Pinot Noir with dark-red fruits, florals, savoury herb, earth and spice flavour on a fine-grained, well-structured palate."
91 points Vinous May 2016
"Bright, dark red. Perfumed aromas of raspberry, gingerbread and mocha convey partial whole-cluster fermentation. Juicy and savory, displaying a lovely light touch to its musky red berry and spice flavors. Very firmly structured yet pliant Pinot Noir with excellent intensity and inner-mouth lift. Finishes brisk and persistent."
91 points Robert Parker May 2017
"Pale to medium ruby colored, the 2013 Pinot Noir reveals expressive black cherry, mulberry and red currant jelly notes on the nose with hints of tar, black loam, balsamic and dried Provence herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate has elegant styling with gentle savory and red berry preserves characters framed by a lively backbone and chewy tannins, finishing with earthy nuances."
95 Points & 1 of 7 wines rated "Outstanding" Decanter magazine's New Zealand Pinot Noir tasting
Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide 7th edition Awarded Robert Parker’s highest producer rating “Outstanding”