This is not the Pegasus Bay's flagship Pinot Noir, but it sometimes beats its big brother and has been consistently good for many years. A much-lauded style with intensity and an array of plum, berry, oak, toasted nut, mineral and anise spice flavours. There's a delightfully rustic hint to the wine, perhaps from the fine, ripe tannins.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"Settled weather during December provided optimal conditions for flowering. A very hot summer then enabled the grapes to ripen beautifully. Free draining stony soil helped mitigate the effects of some late summer rain, and the ensuing dry autumn meant the fruit was able to be picked in excellent condition.
Upon release the wine is bright ruby in colour. On the nose there is a brooding melange of dark cherry, boysenberry, and poached plums, interlaced with spicy notes and a hint of potpourri. The palate is classically structured and refined, with a plush texture and sumptuous mouthfeel. Ripe velvety tannins work harmoniously alongside well-balanced acidity, setting up for a long and persistent finish."
5 Stars & 95/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, April 2021 (2018 Vintage)
"Wonderfully ripe and complex, showing dark cherry, sweet plum, thyme, smoked game and roasted nut aromas with a hint of mushroom nuance. The concentrated palate delivering excellent power and persistency, while remaining elegant and stylish. Richly textured and gorgeously structured by loads of polished tannins. At its best: now to 2030."
Rated Excellent & 93/100 Cameron Douglas MS, April 2021 (2018 Vintage)
"Red currant and dark cherry, a savoury core with dried herbs, toasty barrel spices of French oak and a mix of tea, dried earth and baking spices. Youthful and complex. On the palate – flavours of dark berries and plum, cherry and savoury dried herb qualities the a touch of sour cherry to stretch the palate before the new wood textures and flavours take over Firm tannins and medium+ acidity, a core of fruits and plenty of pinosity. Well made, young and needing cellar time. Best drinking from late 2022 through 2030+."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
94/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, April 2020 (2017 Vintage)
"So packed with dried herb and amaro fragrance, almost like a hit of Fernet Branca, though obviously much easier on the gums than that gear is. Black and sour cherry, cedar and dried flowers, chocolate and curry spices. It’s deep and silky, raspberry and sap, black olive and dried herb, tart but balanced acidity, deep set ripe silty tannin, and a long finish of ample proportions. Charisma plus. It’s a terrific wine. So often off-piste, but so rewarding and wonderful to experience. It’s a big YES from me."
5 Stars Yvonne Lorkin, May 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"As soon as this niceness from North Canterbury nibbles its way up your nostrils, you’ll need to grab hold of a piece of solid furniture to ensure you remain upright enough to put it in your mouth safely. The wobble factor is a result of the exotically perfumed aroma spectrum saturated with rosehip tea, red rose, charcuterie and wild red fruits like pomegranate, redcurrant and cherry. On the palate it’s slippery, silky and succulent to sip. There’s method in the 1/3 whole bunch ferment, extended cold-soak period, long, gentle, wild-yeast fermentation and an 18 month maturation in 40% new French oak barrels madness of this smorgasbord of clones from multiple sites. It’s headscratchingly delicious in every single way. The fruit, the spices, the smoky oak, the powerful yet powdery tannins and the marathon-like length of flavour. Outstanding."
19/20 Joelle Thomson, Drinks Biz Magazine, June 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"Ivan Donaldson planted the first vineyard in Canterbury in 1976 and founded Pegasus Bay winery with wife Christine a decade later. Today, their four sons run the winery and restaurant with two of their partners and continue to spearhead innovative wines from the outstanding North Canterbury region. Winemaker Mat, the eldest son, leads a talented team who used an increasing amount of whole bunches in the ferment to make this spicy, structured Pinot that was aged in oak (40% new) for 18 months. It gets better by the year. It wasn’t that long ago I was singing the praises of the 2015 as the best Peg’ Bay Pinot yet. Now, meet this well-balanced, intensely flavoursome, silky smooth Pinot."
94/100 Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com, October 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Wild herbs and bracken with red fruit and darker, more earthy notes. Rose hips, black tea and plums. The palate has a dense, succulent and seamlessly polished, tightly wrapped feel. Long and taut. Needs time."
5 Stars Michael Cooper, 2020 Edition (2016 Vintage)
"This is one of North Canterbury's greatest Pinot Noirs, typically very rich in body and flavour. Many of the vines are over 25 years old and the wine is matured for 18 to 22 months in French oak barriques (about 40 per cent new). The 2016 vintage is a fragrant, deep ruby wine, full-bodied and rich. It has deep cherry and plum flavours, with hints of herbs and spices, fresh acidity, and a very harmonious finish. Already delicious, it should be at its best 2020+."