New winery of the month - Pegasus Bay

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Pegasus Bay is our new winery of the month and we have tastings of the great whites and impressive reds planned, including Wine Wednesday this week with two wines from Peg' Bay.

The tastings from Pegasus Bay will culminate with an event on Saturday 21 November from 1pm to 5pm in store here at Regional. Edward Donaldson will host the wine tastings and we'll be on hand to show you through the wines in store and have a few tasty morsels on hand to go with the wines.

We hope you'll join us to taste the range from one of our absolute favourite wineries in the country. Speaking of which, our team had the good luck (well, the great generosity of our employer) to visit Pegasus Bay Winery in North Canterbury in late September. The trip was part of a visit to the region, planned to learn, enjoy and see first hand what makes this region's wines tick.

We tasted 42 wines with Pegasus Bay winemaker Mat Donaldson at the winery, which included delicious white wines, new, old and tank samples. It was a stunning experience, which taught us a huge amount about how these wines are made and how well they age. 

Mat is also the eldest son of Ivan and Chris, founders of this iconoclastic winery in the heart of the Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, and he is a perfectionist when it comes to his craft. He showed us 2020 and 2019 wines from tank and bottle and then we moved onto the serious wines; Rieslings modelled on the world’s best to highlight the great climate in North Canterbury where the dry weather accentuates tannins, acidity and concentration in grapes, both red and white.

Highlights of tasting with Mat Donaldson

2003 Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 

This is an intriguing wine; still drinking well. I also tasted 15 years ago, blind (with its identity concealed), alongside the identical wine sealed with cork. It was a fascinating and controversial comparison at the time, which provided for an extremely memorable evening of discussion. The screwcapped bottle was fresher, better quality for most people at the tasting.  

2016 Pegasus Bay Encore Riesling 

Almost 100% botrytis, not made every year – super rich and concentrated.

2019 Bel Canto Dry Riesling

Based on Austrian dry Rieslings Smaragd; dry Rieslings with botrytis because the botrytis adds phenolics and Mat D wants to accentuate phenolics, weight and texture.

“My ideal Riesling style is the classic Mosel styles but I’ve also opened my eyes to different styles as well.” 

2017 Pegasus Bay Bel Canto 

All about intense orange rind, marmalade, super concentration and floral on the nose. 

2019 Main Divide Riesling 

Drier than usual with 16 grams residual sugar compared to the usual style of 20+ grams for this wine, but the winemaking team is moving this wine into a drier style.

2016 Pegasus Bay Aria 

Richness and concentration to burn, great depth, nice acid balance. 

2009 Pegasus Bay Aria 

Great wine, a tribute both to Mat Donaldson, Pegasus Bay, North Canterbury and Riesling. 

2018 Main Divide Pinot Noir

Very good quality entry level Pinot but one of the highlights was the outstanding 2019 Main Divide Te Hau Reserve Pinot Noir, 100% Abel clone from the winery’s Te Hau vineyard. This wine is not made every year and was originally intended to be a reserve wine.

2017 Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir includes about 40% whole bunch, 18 months in oak, drinking beautifully now and has great structure to age

2016 Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir

The best selection of the top barrels from more full bodied batches of the best wines. Big, bold, chunky, massive sweet fruit and smooth but has fantastic ageing potential in the long term. Give it 10 years and watch it mellow. 

Both 2016 and 2017 were tannic vintages says Mat D.

We also tasted the amazing 2015 Maestro, a red blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Malbec and the 2016 Maestro; the same blend of grapes. 

These wines are super concentrated with dark black fruit and spice from the Malbec and great structure.

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