97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand's leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peak beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
For weightier style reds we recommend the Zalto Bordeaux glass, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
An entirely family run operation, owned by the Donaldson family, Pegasus Bay vineyards are based in Canterbury’s famous Waipara sub-region. Due to its protection from cool, Pacific breezes from the east by the Treviotdale Range and it’s gravel soils with large, heat radiating stone, Waipara has an unusually long ripening period with warm days and cool nights. These conditions promote a high level of ripening, with grapes that are intensely flavoured. Pegasus Bay have a strong belief in minimal intervention and sustainable vineyard practices and is an accredited member of the NZWG sustainable viticulture program, employing completely natural methods of disease and pest control and clarify their wines by natural settling. Awarded the highest 5 star “outstanding” rating by Robert Parker and considered by Neal Martin as “one of New Zealand’s best producers” they have received countless praise and high ratings by the critics. Their Chardonnay is produced using traditional Burgundian winemaking methods, fermented in large oak puncheons, 70% of which are old so as not to impart too much oak flavour, followed by a further 12 month maturation. Their estate Pinot Noir is produced from various blocks that were harvested at different times to give varied fruit profile which are individually fermented and matured separately for 22 months in 40% new oak barriques made by Burgundian coopers. The Prima Donna is only made in exceptional years from the best barrels of the oldest vines. They also produce sensational Riesling, the Bel Canto Riesling is produced from bunches that have been affected by at least 30% Botrytis which maximises the intensity of flavour and concentration.
One of New Zealands up-and-coming sub-regions and very much thought of as “one to watch” is Canterbury’s Waipara Valley. Bob Campbell MW calling it “one of the unsung heroes of the wine industry” Waipara is gaining a reputation for some of the country finest Pinot Noirs. Translating as Muddy Water, Waipara is a sub-region that has been identified as having a unique and distinctive meso-climate which has made it one of the country’s fastest growing areas for wine production and a place on which the worlds eyes are now firmly fixed. Waipara shares several similarities to the rest of Canterbury’s climate, it has cold, frosty winters, warm, dry summers and long, dry, sunny Autumns. The feature that sets Waipara apart are a range of coastal hills to the east that protect it from the coastal winds making the area slightly warmer, resulting in riper grapes and ultimately wines of great power and structure. Taking their name from the Maori translation for this sub-region is Muddy Water. With just 12 hectares on vineyard, Muddy Water create stunning Pinot Noirs including the Hares Breath and Slow Hands single vineyard expressions, a beautifully mineral rich Chardonnay as well as several other varieties that are all indicative of the unique conditions found in Waipara. Pegasus Bay also create stunning wines from this micro-climate. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are featured in classic high form but their Rieslings really shine, both in the mature 2007 and 2008 vintages and their incredible flagship Riesling - Bel Canto.
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