Pegasus Bay Aged Release 2011 and celebrates its 31st vintage
This year Pegasus Bay celebrates its 31st vintage (1991-2021). When Ivan & Christine (Chris) Donaldson established Pegasus Bay in the Waipara Valley in 1986 by making wine in the garage of their Christchurch home they had no idea they were creating a family business that would one day involve all four of their sons.
Their sons grew up with the winery, even helping plant the vineyard which is now 35 years old. Eldest Son Mat is the Winemaker, Mike is the Canterbury Sales Manager, Paul is the General Manager, Ed is the Marketing Manager and his wife Belinda is the Events Manager. Ivan and Chris are still involved, with Ivan overseeing the vineyards and Chris evolving and maintaining the beautiful winery gardens.
Their success shared with all four of their sons and their continued involvement in the vineyard has given the couple a great deal of pride. Today, Pegasus Bay is a globally recognised brand exported to more than 20 countries.
As one of their more recent initiatives, Pegasus Bay started an Aged Release program. In 2016, they released wine from their 2006 vintage, which they had been holding for 10 years to allow it time to develop into something really special. The Donaldson family at Pegasus Bay are very aware of the ageing ability of their wines, and every year they set aside small quantities of their wine for this program.
Their goal with their Aged Release program is to show that a decade of bottle age can mean great complexity and very different characteristics to their young wines, and most possibly even offer greater enjoyment. Pegasus Bay Aged Release wines can be purchased from the winery direct, selected wine shops or restaurants across the country.
This year marks their 6th year of the Aged Release program, with the 2011 vintage.
Here I have shared my thoughts on the Aged Release of 2011 Riesling, Pinot Noir and Prima Donna Pinot Noir. The 2011 growing season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. Well-spaced showers aided the drying condition; the fruit was picked in beautiful condition with physiological ripeness. The resulting wines are powerful with great complexity and concentration. They’ve developed beautifully with tertiary characters but are not at all old – there’s still plenty of time ahead to enjoy these wines.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Pegasus Bay Riesling Aged Release 2011, WaiparaRiesling from New Zealand - Canterbury & WaiparaReview Date : 27-Apr-2021Bright, even, deep yellow-gold. The nose is soft and mellow with intensity and power, penetrating nuances of mandarin, marmalade, and zest interweave beeswax, dried apricot and a hint of gingernut. Full-bodied, off-dry to taste, complex aromas of marmalade, dried apricot, mandarin and zest have a bright core and flavour; beeswax, nuts and cereal unfold as the wine aerated, linger with warming ginger spice to linearity. The wine has good flavour concentration, showing immense complexity and breadth; mouthwatering acidity support length and vitality, integrated, flowing with great energy; sweetness added palate weight and a rounding mouthfeel. This Riesling has developed brilliantly, complex and full of interest showing strength and grace. Match with crispy pork belly and salted cod stew over the next 5 years. Handpicked, cool-fermented to 12.5% alc, 21.5 g/l RS. 19-/20 pts (95 pts) Apr 2021 RRP $40
Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Aged Release 2011, WaiparaPinot Noir from New Zealand - Canterbury & WaiparaReview Date : 27-Apr-2021Deep, ruby-red colour with a garnet shade, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and elegant, filled the room with fragrances of dried raspberries, cherries and blackberries, interweave medicinal herbs, liquorice roots, spices, a hint of game and underlined alcohol power. Medium-full bodied, savoury toned aromas of dried cherries, blackberries, plum liqueur, have a strong core; wet leaves, mushroom unfolds, along with liquorice roots, herbal & spice elements. The aroma is vivid, rich in weight and concentration; fine-grained fragrance tannin carried by dense fruit and complexing savoury elements, and a lengthy, warming finish. This is a complex, savoury Pinot Noir with concentration and power; signs of youthful secondary developments suggest still time ahead. Match with lamb racks and veal chops over the next 5+ years. Indigenous yeast fermented with a good portion of whole clusters to 14% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 18.5+/20 (94 pts) Apr 2021 RRP $65
Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir Aged Release 2011, WaiparaPinot Noir from New Zealand - Canterbury & WaiparaReview Date : 27-Apr-2021Deep, ruby-red with a garnet hue, lighter on the rim. The nose is poised and softly full with intensity, fragrance of red blossoms, candied hibiscus melded with semi-dried plums, cherry liqueur, unveil layers of cinnamon, cloves spices, earth and dried shiitake. Medium-full bodied, savoury aromas of earth, dried shiitake leading the palate, unfolding spices of cinnamon, cloves, liquorice roots melded with a core of semi-dried plums, cherry liqueur linger with candied hibiscus to a long, sustained finish. The fruit has density and intensity, developing savoury spices, mushroom, and earthy complexity broaden the palate with multiple layers, full of interest. Fine-grained, silky tannin contributed to an elegant structure frame. Powerful palate supported by alcohol and integrated acidity; secondary savoury elements elevated with sweet fruit. This is an elegantly structured Pinot Noir with graceful development of fragrance dried fruit, savoury complexity and power. Match with tea braised pork belly and duck confit over the next 5-8 years. Multi-clone fruit from ungrafted vines up to 30-year-old, destemmed, given an ambient soak and indigenous yeast fermented with a portion of whole berries to 14% alc, the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French ok barriques. 19+/20 (96 pts) Apr 2021 RRP $120