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Pegasus Bay Mail Order Tasting in Wellington

By December 6, 2017No Comments
I usually give myself plenty of time to attend the annual Pegasus Bay mail order tasting. Unfortunately this year, I was besieged with commitments which ate into my time. So I missed getting my overview of the Pegasus Bay range, but I know the wines have immense consistency and consumer appeal. Mat Donaldson, the Donaldson family and their team understand the market, and the winemaking is geared appropriately, and the marketplace loves the Pegasus Bay wines.
Denver Donaldson – Pegasus Bay
To me, the people behind the label are just as important as the wines, so it was lovely to catch up with sales and marketing manager Edward Donaldson, and his wife Belinda. On this trip, they brought along their children Denver who is 10 y.o. and Castro, who is 8 y.o. Both sons were invaluable assisting their parents. On arrival, Castro handed over my tasting glass and suggested that I taste the wines from “left to right”. Denver was at the tasting table, pouring samples. Not knowing the people attending personally, he managed to pour the correct, small samples, without any coercion to give a bigger pour. Both sons knew basic facts about the wines, and could answer question on such. They are chips off the old blocks. And with a tasting room full of customers, they made a significant difference to the work load.
Pegasus Bay is very competently run by founders Ivan and Chris Donaldson’s sons, Mat in the winemaking, Edward in sales and marketing, and Paul as the general manager. Recently, son Michael returned from overseas, and is now in the fold. Mat and Edward’s wives are also fully involved with the business. The second generation is firmly ensconced in their positions and work. However, seeing Denver and Castro, I know that the third generation will make its mark on Pegasus Bay. Succession is a major issue for the New Zealand wine industry, but I think things are well in hand at Pegasus Bay. www.pegasusbay.com
Castro Donaldson – Pegasus Bay

Tasting Two Muscats

As Edward Donaldson said ” you are pretty much up to speed on the wines”, so he suggested I taste the two Muscat wines, which are available on the mail order offers and through the cellar door only. Here are my impressions.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Muscat 2016
Very pale coloured, near colourless. The nose is very tight and taut with intense and penetrating aromas of musk, fresh grapes and herbs, with lifted floral notes, unveiling a little smoke! Is this the indigenous yeasts?. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the depth and tautness is the feature on the palate. This is not broad in anyway, as Muscat can be. Very fine phenolics and soft, refined acidity complete the picture, revealing mineral and smoke detail on the finish. I tend to enjoy Muscat varietal wines in their youth. This has the ability to keep well, maybe 3-4+ years. 14.0% alc. and around 18 g/L RS according to Edward’s memory. 18.0/20 Dec 2017 RRP $30.00
Pegasus Bay ‘Fortissimo’ Waipara Valley Muscat 2016
Bright, very pale straw colour, near colourless on the rim. This has lovely ripeness of late-picked grapes with honey and musk notes, and a little raisining. The nose is one of clarity, purity and beauty. Sweet to taste, this is taut, slender and quite sleek in expression. Very good intensity of fruit flavours as suggested by the nose, this has alcohol drive and cut to balance the richness and lusciousness. This has an edgy flow with great energy. The textures are very fine. The clarity and precision of the wine is quite remarkable. Made as a vin doux naturel, with a little fortifying alcohol. 17.0% alc. and around 80 g/L RS. In the mould of a classy Muscat Beaumes de Venise, but with a New World take on the style. Serve as an aperitif over the next 3-4+ years. (375 ml) 18.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $40.00


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