Winery notes (2019 Vintage)
"The Donaldson Family traces its Kiwi roots back hundreds of years. In keeping with this we have chosen to give our reserve range of wines ancestral names. This TE HAU Pinot Noir is named after our grandfather Henry Te Hau Tapu Nui o Tu Donaldson.
Unsettled weather over flowering resulted in a lighter than average set, meaning that no further fruit thinning was necessary. A classic North Canterbury summer then enabled this smaller crop to ripen beautifully. Accelerated maturation allowed harvest to take place slightly earlier than usual, and favourable autumn weather ensured the grapes were picked in perfect condition.
The fruit was sourced from our own Main Divide Te Hau vineyard, planted in Abel clone. Traditional Burgundian winemaking methods were used to make this wine. Upon release it is bright ruby in colour, with vibrant red fruit aromas of raspberry, cherry and cranberry, laced with touches of mushroom, vanilla, cinnamon and thyme. The palate is soft and lush, with ripe velvety tannins, refreshing acidity and a prolonged finish. This wine is a classic expression of our Te Hau site, displaying a perfect balance of both fruit weight and savoury complexity."
5 Stars & 94/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, June 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Offering terrific fruit power and purity, the wine shows Black Doris plum, sweet cherry, olive, cedar and vanilla characters on the nose. It's concentrated and wonderfully flavoursome on the palate, delivering rich texture and sumptuous mouthfeel, leading to an impressively long delicious finish. At its best: now to 2026."
18.5/20 Joelle Thomson, May 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Te Hau Reserve Pinot Noir is named after Henry Te Hau Tapu Nui o Tu Donaldson, an ancestor of the Donaldson family who own Pegasus Bay Winery today. This wine and that region are consistent favourites of mine, due to the depth of flavour and robust structure, which comes from earthy flavours and smooth but noticeable tannins (not always a strong feature in Pinot Noir). These qualities come from windy springs (which reduces grape and bunch size), to hot summers (which aid ripening) and long autumns, which enhance ripeness. This reserve wine is not made every year but every time it is produced, the style and quality punch significantly above the price tag, which is relatively humble, given the great concentration of flavour, dry taste and full body in this wine."
92/100 Cameron Douglas MS, June 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Intense and fruity bouquet, varietal and distinctive as well with aromas of ripe dark cherry and plums, black currant and spices of oak. Youthful. On the palate – fruity and concentrated with flavours of plums and dark berries, a whisper of black spice then toasty oak. Balanced and well made, varietal and youthfully urgent with dusty tannins and medium acidity, appealing and different. A lovely wine with some decent hallmarks of Pinot Noir with a nutty oak, soil and varietal core. Best drinking from mid 2021 through 2024+."