Edward Donaldson orders the wines generally from whites to reds and finishing with the sweet wines, but the diversity makes it lightly subjective as far as an ideal goes. My notes are in the order as set out by Edward.
Pinot Noir is ‘king’ in Canterbury, and showing why was the Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2015. Light ruby-red with a touch of garnet, this was full of rich red fruits, with excellent ripeness, integrated with complexing dark herbs, a touch of whole bunch. Luscious and succulent, the tannins were very fine and the mouthfeel bright and lively. Very classical and ageworthy. (19.0/20) RRP $51.00. From 1.5 L magnum was the Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2013, lighter coloured with some more garnet hues, this is now becoming beautifully harmonious and complex layered with lovely secondary dried herb development. Ethereal florals, red fruits and finesse in its expression with fine–grained textures. No hurry here, other 5+ years easily. (19.0+/20) RRP $120.00. Slotted among the Pinot Noir selection was the Pegasus Bay ‘Vergence’ Red 2017, a 100% Bannockburn Pinot Noir with 100% whole bunch. Dark coloured, with a firm and forceful nose, the aromatics and flavours spoke of the complex stalk perfume, with dark herbs, but slowly releasing the black cherry and berry fruits with a hint of savouriness. Plenty of firmness and structure here, but not course in anyway. A ‘meditation’ wine, maybe, or with rich herb-marinated dishes. (17.5/20) RRP $40.00. Then back to reality with the Pegasus Bay ‘Prima Donna’ Pinot Noir 2013, with a garnet-red colour, complex aromas of dark-red berry fruits with dark herbs, whole bunch notes and fine, nutty oak. This has real depth and intensity, the mouthfeel with remarkable vitality, and refined extraction. (19.5-/20) RRP $95.00.
For many Pegasus Bay aficionados, these wines are the calling card. Introducing the flight was the Pegasus Bay Bel Canto’ Dry Riesling 2015, pale and youthful in appearance, but with finely concentrated, deep and densely packed lime and honied aromas and flavours. Bright and lifted, opening up easily with fruit richness, yellow florals and a hint of marmalade, with crisp acid cut, and a touch of fruit-extract texture. This will age well. (19.0-/20) RRP $35.00. This was followed by the Pegasus Bay ‘Bel Canto’ Dry Riesling 2014 in 1.5 L Magnum. Pale golden-yellow in colour, this is finely concentrated with penetrating bouquet of lime fruit with honied notes and a layering of musky botrytis, On palate remarkably vibrant, the acidity of the vintage coming into its own providing real palate piquancy to complement the fruit richness. Very fine phenolics and real length here. (19.0+/20) RRP $90.00. Then onto a pair of ‘regular’ Rieslings with a touch more sweetness. The current release Pegasus Bay Riesling 2015, pale in appearance, the nose is soft and rounded in presentation with a finely concentrated core of lime fruit, a little honey and toasty complexity. Rich and plush on palate, still taut at the heart, and finely balanced with all the acidity there. (18.5+/20) RRP $30.00. Then the new release Pegasus Bay ‘Aged Release’ Riesling 2008, the second release from a programme keeping the wines held back for a decade. Light golden colour, this is wonderfully integrated and harmonious, with an amalgam of lime fruit, honey and toast, a touch of complexing kero. Deliciously luscious on palate, with true secondary complexities, and surprising power. This will not fade away in the near future. (19.0-/20) RRP $40.00.