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Pegasus Bay is an old favourite of mine - I have stocked its Pinot Noir and previous vintages of this Chardonnay since I set up Wines With Attitude. Family-owned and operated, it is considered to be one of the finest New Zealand wineries.
I was blown away when we first tasted this Chardonnay. The vines are c. 30 years old and of a low-yielding Chardonnay clone which leads to wines of character with good concentration and depth. It is made with Burgundian wine-making methods - grapes hand-picked and gently pressed, wine fermented and aged on the lees in large, mainly old oak barrels (so that the oak effect is subtle) and a spontaneous secondary fermentation before further ageing in bottle.
The resulting wine is Burgundian in style with citrus fruits and nuttiness but the fruit flavours (including lemons and nectarines) and the minerality are more pronounced. It is almost Chablis-esque in its crisp acidity and steely minerality albeit there is also a lovely non-Chablis butteriness. This is a very elegant and complex wine with a very long finish, the sign of a true quality wine - just as we expect from Pegasus Bay!
This is a very food-friendly wine
"The colour is lemon/straw. On the nose there are aromas of citrus, as well as honeydew melon and some stone fruit (peach and nectarine). In addition there is a hint of struck match which adds complexity and a flinty minerality. There are also some underlying savoury notes (toast and brioche) as a result of the secondary fermentation and lees contact in the barrel. The palate is concentrated, however the earlier picking has resulted in a wine that remains elegant and focussed, with refreshing acidity and a lingering finish."
“This powerful, North Canterbury wine has a definite ‘wow’ factor. … Full of personality, ... weighty but elegant palate, … lovely depth.”
96 points jamessuckling.com
“Impressive, vibrant and flinty …Great wine that is packed with interest”
96 points Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
“Superbly fruited and impressively lifted …. Seductively flinty complexity. … The palate is equally engaging with excellent weight and concentration … finishing extremely long and expansive”
95 points Bob Campbell MW
“Bold, complex and flavoursome Chardonnay … A rich, weighty, textural wine that ‘feels’ as good as it tastes”
Awarded Robert Parker’s highest producer rating “Outstanding”