The Donaldson family have been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970’s and were pioneers of local grape growing and wine making.
Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson is a wine writer and wine judge and has recently been awarded an Order of Merit for his contribution to Neurology. He also oversees viticulture and wine styles while his wife Christine directs most of her energy on maintaining the winery’s extensive grounds. She is also a lover of opera and the arts and has been heavily involved in the local Opera scene for many years. Christine has organised a number of concerts at the winery’s natural amphitheatre and a reserve range of wines have been dedicated to Christine’s passion for opera.
Their eldest son, Matthew is winemaker and graduated with an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. He has worked many vintages in other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Burgundy. 2012 marked Matthew’s 20th vintage at Pegasus Bay.
Another son, Edward is Marketing Manager who spends much of his time trotting the globe and promoting his family’s wines to the more than 25 countries where Pegasus Bay is distributed, his wife Belinda directs the winery’s multi award winning restaurant. The youngest son Paul, who has an MBA, is the winery’s General Manager.
Pegasus Bay is an entirely family-owned and operated enterprise.
The vines, many of which are nearly 30 years old and on their own roots, grow on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. While the site is warm during the day it is cool at night. This allows the fruit to ripen fully but slowly and to retain good acid levels of natural acidity. The drainage is helped by stones intermingled with the soil.
The various blocks were picked at different stages during late April and early May, depending on their maturity. Most of the grapes were destemed and put into small fermenting vats, retaining as many whole berries as possible. 10% of whole bunches were also added to these vats. They were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from the pinot noir skins. After this time the grapes warmed enough to start fermenting. During fermentation the floating cap of grape skins was twice daily gently pushed back under the wine by hand to keep it moist and healthy. When the fermentation finished the vats were sealed and the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for up to a week to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. Subsequently the wine was gently pressed off and put into oak barriques (30% new) from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. Both this and the original fermentation phase were completely natural and without added micro-organisms. After maturing for 18 months in these barriques the batches made from the many different plots of pinot were carefully blended in varying portions to produce this wine.
The upfront aromas and flavours suggest raspberry, pomegranate, black cherry, purple plum, chocolate and spice. These overlie savoury hints of barbecued meats, grilled mushrooms and black olive tapenade. It is richly textured and mouth filling with powerful but velvety tannins that flow evenly through the palate, helping to draw out the lingering aftertaste. While ready to drink on release it can be expected to cellar well and evolve gracefully for many years.
- Additional Information
Name Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Country New Zealand Region North Canterbury ABV% 14% Vintage 2013 Grape Variety 100% Pinot Noir Size 750ml Dietary Information No