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96pt Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2013

£57.65 £49.75
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"...in 2013 it is one of the greatest wines I have ever seen from this country" Matthew Jukes

"Rated one of the best Pinot Noirs in the world (outside of Burgundy)" - Decanter

High praise indeed!

But then no surprise when you consider that Pegasus Bay has long been recognised as one of New Zealand's greatest wineries - and that the Prima Donna is their flagship Pinot Noir!

Only made in exceptional years, it is a selection created from only the very best barrels of the vintage, most of which come from some of the oldest plantings in the vineyard.

The intensely concentrated grapes from these old vines create an incredible, silken Pinot Noir that blends power and richness with elegance in a way that is very rarely found outside of some of Burgundy's greatest names.

This is a wine that can easily hold its own with Premier Cru Burgundy - and we'd suggest with quite a few of its Grand Cru wines as well - at a price that Burgundy just cannot compete with.

Given the sheer quality of the Prima Donna, we believe it is one of the world's great wine values!

However, as is often the case with wines this good, it is made in tiny, tiny quantities and we can offer just a few cases. Do not miss out on this if you like Pinot Noir - it is a Kiwi revelation!

About the wine

In the glass the Prima Donna has a clean, deep ruby hue. Unmistakeably Pinot Noir on the nose, the aromas and flavours evoke impressions of black cherries, purple plums, wild blackberries and mulberries. These are underpinned with a savoury dimension suggestive of roast meats, mushroom and black olives.  Powerful, rich and intense, there is a layer of elegant, velvety tannins that coat and refine its big body and taut muscular structure, helping to draw out the lingering aftertaste of chocolate mocha and spice.

This is ready to drink now but deserves some time in a decanter to really open up and show at its best. However it will age gracefully for a decade or more.

Pegasus Bay use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods for all of their Pinot Noirs. The various vineyard blocks were picked at different stages, depending on their maturity, aiming for a range of red and dark fruit flavours. Approximately one third of the grapes were put at the bottom of the fermentation vats as whole bunches, with the balance being destemmed on top, retaining as many whole berries as possible. The vats were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from the grape skins.

The wine underwent natural fermentation and was then gently pressed and put into oak barriques (30% new) from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. After maturing for 18 months, a selection from the best barriques (representing the many different plots & clones of pinot) was chosen and carefully blended, in order to produce the most complex and balanced wine possible.

Winemaker: Matthew Donaldson
Appellation: Waipara Valley, New Zealand

- 96pts, James Suckling
- 96pts, Bob Campbell  
- 19.5/20pts, Raymond Chan
- 92pts, Vinous
- 91pts, Robert Parker Wine Advocate
- 4.1/5 Stars, Vivino Rating

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: Pegasus Bay vineyards
Cooperage: 18 months in oak barriques
ABV: 13%
Drink: 2018-2030

About the winery

Pegasus Bay is an entirely family-owned and operated enterprise with the Donaldson’s involvement in wine in the area going back to the early 1970s. It might not sound like that long ago but at that time the family were pioneers.

Husband and wife team Ivan and Christine are still very much involved with Ivan overseeing viticulture and wine styles. Their three children each have an important role with the eldest, Matthew leading the winemaking; 2017 will be his 25th vintage! Edward is the Marketing Manager and the youngest, Paul is the winery’s General Manager.

Critics the world over have described Pegasus Bay and their wines as “iconic”, “outstanding”, “exceptionally good” and “exciting”; they are all right and you’d not argue with the writer in NZ Wine Country who said, “if a wine critic was not passionate about any of Pegasus Bay’s wine, they should seriously consider a change in career.”

About the vineyard

The Waipara Valley is in New Zealand’s South Island, a 30 minute drive north of Christchurch. Protected from oceanic breezes by the mountains, the Pegasus Bay vineyards benefit from long, warm summers that allow the fruit to ripen fully but at a steady pace that gives the fruit good levels of natural acidity.

Pegasus Bay have about a dozen different clones of pinot noir and in some of their blocks these are intermingled. 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.



96 Points - James Suckling
The refinement and brilliance of the fruit on offer here really sets this wine apart from the regular Pegasus Bay pinot noir. Deliciously rich dark cherry aromas and flavors are presented amid silky, refined and long-form tannins. A great wine, in every respect."


96 Points - Bob Campbell
A limited edition selection of wine made from grapes grown on the oldest vines in superior vintages. Deeply-scented wine that deserves to be decanted for best results. Intense pinot noir with plum, dark cherry and berry, liquorice, mixed spice and classy oak flavours. Showing some bottle development but capable of much more."


96 Points - Raymond Chan
...a full array of savoury fruit and floral aromatics, showing ripe, dark-red berry fruit melded with dark and dried herbs, nuances of undergrowth unveiling red floral elements...Medium-bodied, the palate is rich and expansively mouthfilling with an array of savoury red berry fruit along with plum notes, dried herbs, cedar and undergrowth complexities. The lusciously sweet flavours form a deep and rounded heart, showing richness and detail...This is a rich and succulently sweet, complex flavoured, mouthfilling Pinot Noir with detail and layers of a fine-structured palate with drive and power."


92 Points - Stephen Tanzer
"Dense, brooding aromas of red and darker fruits, spices and mocha. A step up in richness, sweetness and texture from the Waipara Valley bottling, offering a darker fruit character and a hint of menthol....Deep, plush, rather powerful Pinot Noir with rich, ripe tannins and excellent length."


"This is better than the standard Pinot Noir. This is very fruit forward and actually zings on the tongue. Beautiful drink could happily escape with a bottle of this. Probably a 4.254.25/5 Stars

"Still regins supreme as one of the very best Pinot Noirs on the market. Burgundy colour. A real meaty, bacon nose. The palates shows genuine layers. Deep black cherry but with a  vegative, herbal feel. Like it. Always have. Rated it a 4.3" 4.3/5 Stars

"Meaty and savoury nose. Layers. Blue and dark fruits. Classy. 4.2" 4.2/5 Stars

"Lovely florals nad subtle dried herbs which to me is a hallmark of Pegasus Bay wines. There is delicate mouthfell with underlying power. Textural rather than primary fruit and reminds me of a premier cru Burgundy. Poise, balance and class" 4/5 Stars

Other Details

The 96 point Prima Donna from Pegasus Bay "One of the best Pinot Noirs in the world" - Decanter
96pts & 4.1★ - "One of the best Pinot Noirs in the world"
"ntense pinot noir with plum, dark cherry and berry, liquorice, mixed spice and classy oak flavours"
"ntense pinot noir with plum, dark cherry and berry, liquorice, mixed spice and classy oak flavours"
"Rated one of the best Pinot Noirs in the world (outside of Burgundy)" - Decanter High praise indeed! But then no surprise as Pegasus Bay has long been recognised as one of New Zealand's greatest wineries - and the Prima Donna is their flagship wine!
2018-04-15 23:59:59
#review=James Suckling:
#review=Bob Campbell:
#review=Raymond Chan:
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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