The Vergence label from Pegasus Bay is all about looking beyond tradition. This is Pinot Noir from the Bendigo region of Central Otago that is 100% whole bunch, foot-trodden, carbonic and naturally fermented and aged in French oak for a year. Too much information? Just know it is absolutely delicious!
On top of several 5 Star reviews this has now just been awarded Top Wine of the NZ Wine Rater 2021 Pinot Noir Tasting against most of the Big Names of NZ Pinot Noir.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"The grapes for our Vergence label may not always come from our home vineyards, and here we sourced some premium fruit from Central Otago that we felt would be perfect for the style of wine we wanted to make. Vergence is all about looking beyond tradition, so for our 2018 Mark 1 we’ve opted for a 100% whole bunch, carbonic and naturally fermented Pinot Noir. The whole bunches were loaded into a tank containing a small amount of fermenting juice at the bottom, and then sealed to create an oxygen free environment. The juice released CO2, causing carbonic fermentation within the intact berries above. After approximately a week, the lid was removed and the bunches softly trodden under foot, releasing their juices so that the alcoholic fermentation could take place. The wine was then aged in French oak for one year.
On the nose there is an enticing mix of strawberry, raspberry, cherry and tamarillo, along with a whiff of pine smoke. The carbonic maceration has resulted in a wine with low acidity that is soft, succulent and seductive. The tannins are plush and velvety, with the bunch stems adding a peppery character, and hints of lavender and cinnamon."
5 Stars & 97/100, New Zealand Wine Rater Pinot Noir Tasting, September 2021 (2018 Vintage)
Top Wine of the Tasting – Exceptional
"What a fantastic wine to top the tasting and a real statement as to what whole-bunch fermentation can bring to a wine when managed and balanced to a high degree. Showing a really enticing, complex, gamy bouquet with a plethora of aromas such as wild berries, dark chocolate, coffee, crushed-thyme with plenty, (but not too much) vanilla oak in support. A seductive, plush, lush-textured wine with impressive weight, and a tasty, lingering finish that is perhaps the most impressive facet of all."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"The Vergence label is used by Pegasus Bay for 'experimental, non-traditional wines'. The 2018 vintage is a Central Otago Pinot Noir, fully whole-bunch fermented and barrel-aged for a year (30 per cent new). A distinctive, generous red, it is full-coloured and fragrant, with concentrated plum and spice flavours, showing impressive complexity, and a firmly structured, long, spicy finish."
5 Stars & 18.5+/20 Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Reviews, September 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Deep, ruby-black, slightly lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full, bright aromas of black cherries, field berries are well-packed in the glass. Herbal notes of thyme and pine interweave deep florals and subtle cinnamon spice. Medium-full bodied, succulent fruit of black cherries and an amalgam of cranberries, tamarillo forms a good core; along with cinnamon, pepper melded with herbal elements, and deep florals lifted smokey underlay. The tannin is fine-textured and powdery, lightly coated the palate and leaves a silky mouthfeel. The acid is soft and balanced, bridging the flavours to a lingering, elegant finish. This is a harmonious Pinot Noir with succulent fruit, herbal and floral details and a fine powdery palate. Match with Peking duck and dry-cured Capocollo over the next 5-7 years. 100% Pinot Noir from Bendigo vintage 2018. 100% whole bunches, carbonic maceration, fermented to 13.5% alc. Aged in French oak for 1 year."
92/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, June 2022 (2018 Vintage)
"100% whole bunch and carbonic Pinot Noir from Bendigo, Central Otago. Meaty, spicy, all thyme and lavender, with strawberry and raspberry, with a little mocha oak. It’s sappy and herbal, something of a hoisin sauce flavour here, grainy tannin grip, and a meaty finish of tangy blood orange, coffee bean, and good length. Very interesting. Quite ‘out there’ but good in that way too."
92/100 Bob Campbell MW, April 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"A dynamic and experimental label. Fermented using 100% whole-bunches. An interesting wine with plum, savoury, earth, mocha and spicy flavours supported by generous but rounded tannins. A rich, textural wine offering an attractive contrast to Pegasus Bay's regular pinot noir."