96 Points - James Suckling "Super vibrant with plenty of earthy forest floor aromas as well as toasted spices. The palate reveals a core of pristine dark cherry fruit flavor, beautifully judged ripe tannins and a level of effortless depth that singles this out as a consistently great New Zealand pinot noir. Drink now. Screw cap."
96 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz - "A serious, multidimensional Pinot Noir from New Zealand. Sweet raspberries, forest floor evolving to red cherries and pomegranate with a little aeration. Tannins, as you would hope for, are satiny and wrap the fruit perfectly. A hallmark of the producers is elegance but the wine fans-out beautifully on the palate." Served in a Zalto Burgundy Glass.
Zalto Denk-Art Burgundy Glass
For all Pinot Noirs we recommend the Zalto Burgundy glass, designed almost specifically for Pinot’s delicate aromas. The aromas of Pinot Noir are often the most delicate, but when revealed can be the most enticing and pretty. The Zalto Burgundy glass is the widest of all the Zalto glasses providing the largest surface area of wine. This allows for rapid aeration, revealing all of Pinot Noir’s delicate spice, herb, floral, earth and berry aromas to be maximized. The narrower rim holding these aromas for an unparalleled experience of Pinot Noir’s elegant subtleties. Zalto Burgundy is also very good for Nebbiolo, especially Barolo.
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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