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Pegasus Bay Winery

www.pegasusbay.com

Stockgrove Rd, RD 2, Waipara, Amberly

Cellar Door: Daily (10.30-5)

Ph (+64) 3314 6861

wine label

Pegasus Bay is an entirely family-owned and operated enterprise. The Donaldson family have been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970's and were pioneers of local grape growing and wine making.

Associate Professor and consultant neurologist, Ivan Donaldson, is a wine writer and wine judge. He also oversees viticulture and wine styles. His wife, Christine, is business manager and as a passionate opera lover, organises annual operatic concerts in Pegasus Bay's natural amphitheatre.

Their eldest son, Matthew, did an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. He and his partner Lynnette Hudson, who graduated with distinction from Lincoln University with a postgraduate diploma in oenology and viticulture, are the winemakers. Matthew supervises the reds and Lynnette oversees the whites.

Another son, Edward Donaldson, is marketing manager and, as a trained chef, supervises the Pegasus Bay vineyard restaurant.

Pegasus Bay vineyard gets maximum protection from the Pacific's easterly breezes by being tucked up under the lee of the Teviotdale Ranges.

Residual heat from the sunny autumn afternoons is promoted by smooth stones and gravels left behind by an ice age glacier. The soil is freely draining and of low fertility, resulting in naturally reduced vine vigour.

The wines include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon-Semillon and a Cabernet-Merlot, the Aria Noble Riesling and the Finale Noble Chardonnay.

Main Divide is their second label.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2012

Purchased: Not ($A130)

Drink: 2023+

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, cold but fairly dry vintage, powerful and finely structured black cherry, mulberry and dark plums with cured meat and anise, long and powerful spine with graphite minerality, rich and toasty cinnamon/clove oak with a touch of mocha, dusty tannins (****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($A70)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016,from a warm, dry vintage, 10% whole bunch inclusion, fuller black cherry and  dark plum with savoury meat and olive notes, plump and medium-full bodied with a streak of graphite minerality and fresh orange peel rind acidity (****),

Pegasus Bay Aria Waipara Valley Late Picked Riesling 2013

Purchased: Not ($NZ38)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2015, warm vintage, 30% botrytis input, spicy, fresh and sweet lime marmalade, tangerine, melon and pineapple with honey, ginger and musk aspects, seamless flow with some lanolin plushness but not syruppy, has plenty of drive and length, well poised dessert wine (*****)

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($NZ33)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2015, late harvest and partial botrytis, partial barrel ferment, verging on off-dry, peach, lime and red apple with spicy and musky botrytis complexity and orange blossom and honeysuckle florals, the flinty, reductive sulphide aspects are fairly overt at the moment, the rich palate has a good line and underlying minerality, fresh and tingly mandarin/grapefruit rind acidity dries up the finish (****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($60/$NZ47)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, 20% whole bunch inclusion, supple black cherry, raspberry and dark plums with herbal meat, olive, asian spice and mint notes, medium-full bodied is underpinned with fine tannins, some orange peel acidity and dark chocolate on the expansive finish (****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, rich and medium-full bodied nectarines, limes, lemon and yellow peach with struck match notes, heavily worked and buttery palate with some dusty phenolics and tingly citrus acidity and spicy cashew-vanilla oak, only medium length (****)

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2011

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, late harvest and partial botrytis, bordering on off-dry, peach, lime and apricot with spicy botrytis complexity, viscous palate has a good line and underlying minerality, fresh mandarin/grapefruit rind acidity (****)

Main Divide Pinot Gris 2013

Purchased: Not ($A22)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, straw-gold colour with pink tinges, late picked to allow for the development of small amount of botrytis, rich and viscous lime, pear and guava with ginger and quince notes, rounded palate with balanced citrus acidity (****)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Sauvignon Semillon 2011

Purchased: Not ($NZ28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, elegant and floral blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, the Semillon is barrel fermented in seasoned oak, modestly waxy green apple, cut grass and tangerine and with garden herb, lemon blossom and gun flint notes, leesy textural complexity, very good line and an evenly weighted succulent palate, tingly lime citrus acids on the lingering, flinty finish (*****)

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($A100/$84)

Drink: 2021+

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, multi-clonal with vines ranging up to 25 years old, focussed and muscular core of black cherries, redcurrants and blueberries with cured meat, sarsparilla, anise and garden herb notes, medium-full bodied with graphite minerality and tangy acidity, toasty vanilla/dark chocolate/cinnamon oak finish and dusty tannins, very good length (****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Encore Noble Riesling 2010

Purchased: Not ($NZ37)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, opulent and concentrated botrytis sticky similar in intensity to a German trockenbeerenauslese, 165 gms/l residual sugar, spicy and treacly yellow peach, mango, dried apricots and honeycomb, very persistent and balanced with the lively orange-peel edged acid counterpoint (****)

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A105/$NZ84)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting:  Oct 2012, selection from best barrels, brooding but opulent core of dark cherry, blueberry and plum with cured meat and garden herb notes, a spine of fresh acidity provides the drive, some graphite minerality and a toasty oak spice/dark chocolate finish, velvety tannins, not particularly complex for the price point but has very good length (****)

Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A50/$NZ47)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2012, from a warm and dry vintage, destemmed, perfumed, opulent and powerful sour black cherry, blackberry and raspberry with toasty brown spice notes, minerally base with some underlying savoury meat and grilled mushroom notes, charry oak with a dark chocolate finish and fine grainy tannins, a backbone of vibrant acidity holds the structure together (****)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Sauvignon Semillon 2010

Purchased: Not ($A35/$NZ28)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2012, the late picked Semillon component is barrel fermented, complex, medium bodied and slightly waxy palate showing green apple, cut grass and tangerine and with garden herb, lanolin and tobacco notes, some leesy textural complexity as well, tangy and lime citrus acids on the flinty finish, the oak is barely perceptible, seamless and very more-ish, just starting to hit its peak drinking now as the Semillon becomes more expressive in the blend (*****)

Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($A48/$NZ37)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2012, tastes medium sweet but is 119 gms/l residual sugar, about 30% botrytis input, spicy and moderately lush lime marmalade, honey, mandarin and glazed apricot , slightly spritzy finish with well poised crunchy lime/lemon acidity and a relatively dry, wet stone and talc finish, neatly avoids getting too cloying or opulent (*****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Gewurztraminer 2009

Purchased: Not ($A45/$NZ36)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: June 2010, first release based on 1970s plantings (the oldest Gewurztraminer vines in the Waipara Valley), unfined and picked when ultra-ripe late in the season (as is common now in the Alsace), some time in old French oak, rich and spicy lychee, Turkish delight with rose petal and quince notes, lush and generous body weight but avoids excessive oiliness, tightens up to a flinty, off-dry finish (****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2008

Purchased: Not ($A45)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2010, bel canto is Italian for beautiful singing, this is a rather distinctive style made from late harvest grapes with small parcels of botrytis, however, it is barrel fermented to a relatively dry 8 grams/litre of residual sugar, pronounced minerally phenolic texture, delicate lime, passionfruit, and apricot with floral accacia and subtle kerosene notes, backbone of grapefruit acidity, light spritz, beautifully balanced (****1/2)

Main Divide Riesling 2008

Purchased: Not ($A22/$NZ20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2010, light and semi-sweet aperitif style with a touch of spritz, peach, musk and nectarine with the partial botrytis input bringing tingly lychee, lime marmalade and honeysuckle to the palate, bright and crisp apple acid finish (***1/2)

Main Divide Pinot Gris 2009

Purchased: Not ($A22/$NZ20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2010, rather sweet, full bodied and unctuous style showing yellow peach, mango and apricot with musk, ginger and dried fig nuances, creamy texture with vibrant grapefruit acidity, will polarise consumers (***1/2)

Main Divide Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($A30/$NZ)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2010, this is their budget level, fresh red cherry, mulberry and plum with mushroom, game and black olive notes, medium bodied, silky and savoury although not particularly complex, charry oak also brings some chocolate notes to the finish, well judged acids and tannins (***1/2)

Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2008

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Malvern, Vic ($A35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, one of my favourite NZ SSB blends, vibrant, long and harmonious showing green apple, cut grass, tangerine and paw paw with dried herb, lanolin, musk and tobacco nuances, while quite smooth the barrel ferment on the Semillon has added textural interest, tangy lemon and lime citrus acids, the synergestic complexity unfolds seamlessly (*****)

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2007

Purchased: Not ($A110)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, long, opulent and deep set blackberry, red cherry and plum with plenty of toasty cinnamon, clove, black pepper spice notes along with a touch of liquorice, underlying herbal roast meat and mushroom nuances, grainy tannins add to the textural complexity, finishes with rich dark chocolate, well made example of winery’s big style (****1/2)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Pinot Noir 2007

Purchased: Not ($A50)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, 10% whole bunch inclusion, powerful black cherry, raspberry and dark plum with fruitcake and toasted brown spice aspects, some underlying savoury meat and earthy mushroom notes, opulent with a dark chocolate finish with fine grainy tannins, has a slightly spirity feel, not for the faint hearted (****)

Pegasus Bay Aria Late Harvest Riesling 2007

Purchased: Not ($A48)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, lush and intense mandarin, lime marmalade and cumquat, long and well balanced with crunchy lime rind acids and fine talcy minerality on the finish (****)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not ($A55)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, 10% whole bunch inclusion, stylish black cherry, redcurrant and blackberry with black pepper, anise and cinnamon notes, more savoury and earthy than many Kiwi fruit bombs although still would be classed as medium-full bodied, some roast game and forest floor with a bit of stalkiness, coffee-cedar oak with 30% new French oak, probably too much going on for a higher score but I would like to see how it settles down in five years (****)

Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2007

Purchased: Not ($A38)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2008, classy dry and focussed wine, complexly nuanced bouquet shows green apple, tangerine and paw paw with a hint of smokiness, the palate also shows turkish delight, dried herbs with some lanolin on the finish, unfolds smoothly and seamlessly, a terrific ethereal wine shows different aspects with each sip (*****)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Pinot Noir 2004

Purchased: Not ($A55)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2007, complex array of black cherry, plum and raspberry fruits, savoury medium bodied palate shows light touches of mushroom, liqourice, cinnamon, pepper, and black olive-notes before sliding into mocha-chocolate oak features, velvety tannins (****)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2006

Purchased: Not ($A32)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2007, fairly rich style showing lime, grapefruit and white peach flavours, sweet palate shows a touch of botrytis that adds some honeyed marmalade and paw paw features overlying a fairly assertive minerally base and zingy citric acid (***1/2)