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Featured Reviews

Pegasus Bay 2016 Sauvignon Semillon and ‘Aria’ Late Picked Riesling

06 December,2018

The 2016 growing season in North Canterbury will be remembered along with 2015 as particularly favourable, between two cooler and wetter years. The 2015s are very classical, and the 2016s initially gave a large fruit set which required work to get yields to a desirable level. What ensued was a "perfect summer” according to the Donaldson family at Pegasus Bay, and the extended warm autumn gave superb physiologically ripe grapes that could be harvest will no pressure at all. Here, I review two wines, at opposite ends of the sweetness spectrum which show the 2016 vintage, the Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend, and the ‘Aria’ Late Picked Riesling.


Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley North Canterbury Sauvignon/Semillon 2016

Blended White from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is firmly concentrated and beautifully proportioned with elegant, but intensely concentrated aromas of green stonefruits, nectarines and greengages along with gooseberry notes, exotic lantana and florals, and a subtle layer of nutty lees and oak. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is vibrant with a finely concentrated core of integrated flavours of green stonefruits, gooseberries, fresh herbs and subtle notes of lees and oak. providing complexing detail. The fruit has richness and lusciousness and flows along a fine-textured line, providing phenolic guidance, with fresh, gentle acidity lending vitality. The wine carries to a soft, mouthwatering finish. This is an elegant, vibrant, finely concentrated oak-influenced Sauvignon/Semillon blend with stonefruit, gooseberry and herb flavours with complexing nutty detail on a fine-textured palate. Match with herb-marinated seafood, poultry, pork and veal over the next 4 years. A blend of approx. 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, the Sauvignon Blanc predominantly fermented in stainless-steel with a small portion in new French oak, the Semillon in barrel, to 14.0% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 10 months on lees. 18.5+/20 Dec 2018 RRP $32.00

Pegasus Bay ‘Aria’ Waipara Valley North Canterbury Late Picked Riesling 2016

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Brilliant, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with a concentrated, rich and luscious heart of ripe lime fruit and topical fruit with a harmonious layer of musky botrytis, honey and marmalade, unfolding exotic floral elements. Sweet to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a clearly defined core with well-concentrated flavours of lime fruit, honey, exotic florals with nectar alongside marmalade and musky botrytis. The flavours are harmoniously interwoven, forming a lusciously rounded mouthfeel with some unctuousness which is balanced by fruit extract and fine phenolic textures providing linearity. The acidity is fresh, vibrant and balanced, and the wine carries to a long, honied and musky finish. This is a beautifully defined late-picked Riesling with citrus and tropical fruits, honey and marmalade with complexing musky botrytis on a fine-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif, and with fruit and baked desserts over the next 4-5 years. Previously made in the 2014 vintage. The fruit was harvested over multiple passes to select bunches with 30-50% botrytis, cool-fermented to 11.0% alc. and 83 g/L RS. 19.0/20 Dec 2018 RRP $40.00

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