Pegasus Bay, Prima Donna, Waipara Valley, New Zealand 2012
Outstanding: rated in top Pinot Noirs outside Burgundy in April 2016 issue.
Pegasus Bay, Prima Donna 2012 is delicious, combining blackberry flavour with peach texture. Sweet attack but not jammy; has some purity of fruit and poise, fine acidity that lifts the palate, and an intensity that gives persistence.
*US stockist information from Wine-Searcher.com
Pegasus Bay was founded by neurosurgeon Ivan Donaldson, and today the property is run by his gifted winemaker son Matt. The vineyards lie on well-drained, north-facing terraces planted from 1986 about 35 miles north of Christchurch on the South Island. The Waipara Valley sub-region is sheltered from the cold ocean by a range of hills: days are warm but nights are cool, with 2012 being an exceptionally cool year. Pegasus Bay became known for its Riesling, Gewurztraminer and other varieties, but also produces excellent Pinot Noir, all of which is fermented with some whole bunches in open-top vats with manual punchdowns. Pegasus Bay, Prima Donna 2012 is aged for 18 months in 40% new Burgundian barrels. A selection is made for the top Prima Donna bottling, which generally comes from the oldest vines.