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Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2020

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NOW IN & AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY. Pegasus Bay’s Bel Canto Dry Riesling from North Canterbury in New Zealand is a really elegant dry Riesling from the warm 2020 vintage; rich and rounded in texture, it tastes of citrus fruits with subtle apricot and ginger. A Wow wine!

Only 23 left in stock

Only 23 left in stock

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Wine Style

White Wine, Aromatic White

Grape Variety


Wine Region

North Canterbury


New Zealand






No, Screwcap


Vegan, Vegetarian, Certified Sustainable



Drink By



Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2020 is the talk of the town after the 2011 vintage won London Wine Fair’s recent Judgement of London, a blind tasting designed to give a snapshot of the fine wine landscape almost 50 years on from the original Judgement of Paris in 1976. The 2020 is just as impressive as the 2011 judging by the accolades that you can see under the Awards tab. If you think Riesling is not for you, this outstanding wine could well change your mind – it’s definitely a “Wow wine”.


Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2020 is a remarkable wine. On the nose, the wine presents strong citrus aromas of ripe lime and orange zest with floral notes of orange blossom shining through. On the palate, the wine is dry, crisp and refreshing, with well-balanced acidity that accentuates the fruit flavours. The palate is dominated by citrus flavours of lime, orange zest and grapefruit, with hints of apricot and ginger. The texture of the wine is silky and luxurious, and the finish is lingering and dry. The wine retains a little of its natural carbon dioxide which gives it a little spritz and accentuates its freshness. A really beautiful Riesling that will continue to evolve gracefully with age.


Warm days and cool nights that help balance the ripeness of the grapes with the refreshing acidity are the norm for these vineyards. In addition in 2020 following the warm summer months, there were perfect conditions for the development of noble botrytis, which is essential for Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2020’s structure, richness and full body. Very little rain meant smaller grapes with more concentrated and intense flavours which are captured perfectly in this wine. Cool fermentation ensured the fruit purity was retained.


Raymond Chan who sadly passed away described Riesling as one of the two “signature varieties of the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury” and Pegasus Bay as “leaders” in its production. Often in wine-making the aim is to express the terroir of a single vineyard but not with this wine because according to the winemaker at Pegasus Bay, Mat Donaldson, although single sites in the region do show an individual character and terroir, not all of them are worthy of capturing and expressing. Raymond Chan describes the style of this wine as “particularly connected with the tastes of the sophisticated consumer”.

Producer's Notes

“Upon release it is lemon-straw in colour. An enticing array of aromas swell from the glass, orange zest, quince, and melon, supported by beeswax, blossom, sweet spices and a touch of flint. The palate is full bodied and richly textured, with a pleasing mouthfeel and ripe phenolics that add structure and length. While concentrated, the wine still possesses a fresh and lively tension, it’s refreshing acidity delivering a long harmonious finish.”

How to enjoy

Chilled this makes an amazing aperitif. Foods that dry Rieslings are well suited to include shellfish, fish generally but especially smoked fish and oily fish. Rich creamy dishes. Mild dishes – don’t try anything too hot or chilli-flavoured with a dry Riesling as the heat will kill the beautiful fruit flavours of the wine. Asparagus and artichokes can both be very tricky to pair with wine but are perfect with a dry Riesling.


Serve at: 10 – 12°C


19.5/20 points – Drinksbiz Magazine
“… Bel Canto – the greatest Riesling aromatic wine they make each year. This is one of the top wines in New Zealand with its exquisite balance … enormous concentration of flavour.”


96/100 points – New Zealand Wine Rater
“A huge, distinctive, aromatically prodigious, wine that leaps from the glass with aromas of orange blossom, marmalade, apricot, ginger and Manuka honey … This is an engaging, expressive wine that stands out from the crowd.”


96/100 points –
“Impressively complex and engaging … powerful yet graceful with excellent weight and persistency. Richly textured and mouthfilling, it’s brilliantly structured by firm acidity, finishing superbly long and flavoursome.”


95/100 – Cameron Douglas MW
“Distinctive, floral, aromatic and classic with aromas of lime-flower and blossoms, honeysuckle and a botrytis tickle. A silky texture as the wine touches the palate with immediately contrasting acidity … A delicious wine …”

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