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Pegasus Bay is one of my favourite New Zealand wineries. Fitting very much with the Wines With Attitude ® ethos, it is family-run, its wines made with estate grown fruit from their own vineyard, the aim being to grow "grapes of the highest quality which fully express the features of the vineyard and to handle these with the utmost respect". They prefer minimal intervention and believe in traditional sustainable viticultural management, low crop levels, minimal handling of fruit during processing and natural methods to counteract pest and diseases rather than the application of pesticides and herbicides.
This approach and the sheltered position of the vineyard in the Waipara Valley on the South Island of New Zealand promote intense flavour development and optimal ripeness, while retaining good natural acidity, just what is needed for fabulous wine.
This is an excellent New Zealand-originated, French-style Sauvignon Blanc, i.e. paired with a little Sémillon in order to tone down the Sauvignon from what is considered to be one of the finest New Zealand wineries. The Sauvignon Blanc is very evident but the Sémillon does its job and more; it takes well to oak, helping the wine develop body, colour, richness and character. Do not fear, the resulting blend should not be considered over-oaky in style - barrels used are old oak rather than new so the effect is more subtle.
This is an elegant dry wine, drinking well now but it will keep a while - it is displaying refreshing acidity and complex flavours - fruit including grapefruit and greengages, minerality and floral notes. This wine is developing in complexity, body and texture as expected - and has a lovely long finish.
Recommended with fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and roast ham. It will stand up to richer dishes better than some other white wines.
"The colour is pale lemon with aromas of citrus blossom, lemon, gooseberry and passionfruit. There is also a hint of struck match complexity arising from skin contact during fermentation. The Semillon component helps fill out the palate, adding fruit weight, richness and age-ability, while also acting to restrain the exuberance of the sauvignon blanc. While the lees contact has added texture and body, the wine remains focussed, with a crisp refreshing acidity that emphasises its mineral notes."
95 points Sam Kim
"… Gorgeously complex and engaging … concentrated palate that's vibrant and richly textured at the same time … opulent and powerful … mouth-watering."
94 points JamesSuckling.com
"a very complex and zesty style … a rich, powerfully concentrated frame. … "
91 points RobertParker.com Feb 2020
"One suspects it must be difficult to sell the 2017 Sauvignon Semillon into a market that prizes youth in these sorts of wines. But this is no ordinary blend. It's 70% Sauvignon Blanc, mostly made in stainless steel, and 30% Sémillon, barrel fermented and aged in French oak. At nearly three years of age, this is pungent and grassy, loaded with lively citrus (grapefruit) and passion fruit aromas, and possessing a medium-bodied palate and linear feel. Perhaps it's a bit less rich and textured than some vintages, but it's amply concentrated and lingers a long time on the vibrant finish."
Michael Cooper Listener magazine
" … The distinctive North Canterbury wine has loads of personality … and a tightly structured, lasting finish."
This is an elegant dry New Zealand originated, French style Sauvignon/ Sémillon blend - refreshing acidity, complex fruit and mineral flavours, rich body and a lovely long finish