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Pegasus Bay Sauvignon - Semillon 2015

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“A distinctly unique wine with a character all of its own” Bob Campbell MW.

Pegasus Bay have a reputation for producing world-class wines and this Sauvignon/Semillon blend (just like the great whites of Bordeaux) has consistently racked up great reviews both from the critics and from consumers, who appreciate its style, elegance and complexity.

The wine’s considerable appeal lies in the bringing together of the more richly textured semillon with the upright, zesty sauvignon blanc and together delivering a deeply flavoured, refreshing wine with great length.

There’s a real knack to finding the sweet spot between freshness, minerality, fruit expression and power in these blends and the Pegasus Bay team deserve a generous pat on the back for this 2015 as it hits the target perfectly!

Like all the Pegasus Bay wines, demand is huge and the wines sells out rapidly.

Don't miss out on this great wine from one of New Zealand's best wineries!

About the wine

Pale gold in colour, this wine has striking aromas of citrus, greengage, gooseberry and passionfruit. There’s also a hint of struck match and freshly crushed thyme. The semillon brings richness, breadth of flavour and longevity to the wine at the same time as softening the sauvignon blanc. Time on the lees adds further creaminess and body, though there is still an attractive refreshing minerality that finds a voice all the way through the wine.

A blend of sauvignon blanc (70%) and semillon, the grapes were fermented separately; the sauvignon blanc in stainless steel to retain the pure fruit character and the semillon in oak barrels for texture. 20% of the overall wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels to give the wine additional length and complexity. Both varieties were aged on their lees for around ten months before being blended and bottled.

Winemaker: Matthew Donaldson
Appellation: North Canterbury, New Zealand

- 19/20pts, Raymond Chan
- 93pts, James Suckling
- 92pts, Bob Campbell
- 5.0/5 Stars, Michael Cooper
- 3.9/5 Stars, Vivino Rating

Grapes70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Semillon
Vineyard: Various blocks in the Waipara Valley
Cooperage: 10 months on lees in oak barrels

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 the nights are amongst the coolest in the Waipara Valley, drawing out the ripening period of the grapes, while still retaining good natural acidity.

The vines, many of which are nearly 30 years old and on their own roots, grown on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces whose stony content keeps them well drained. The soil is low-fertility which means the vine vigour is naturally contained which, in turn, gives low yields of high-quality grapes.


19/20 points - Raymond Chan
Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, a little paler on edge. This has a full and voluminous nose with deeply packed aromas showing an array of green stonefruits including greengages and nectarines, along with gooseberry, herb and grassy nuances, and soft nutty oak elements. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate possesses bold, intense and up-front flavours of greengages, nectarines, green stonefruits and a subtle layer of nutty oak. The palate is mouthfilling and flavoursome, with a deep core, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line of fruit extract. The mouthfeel is fresh with lacy acidity providing tension, enhancing the linearity. The wine carries to a long and sustained, vibrant finish of green stonefruits. This is a rich, vibrant and bold, mouthfilling Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend with an array of green stonefruit flavours with plenty of mouthfeel and textural presence."


93 points - James Suckling
"A very concentrated full-tilt take on the style. A wealth of ripe lemon, cool herbs and bright tropical fruit accents as well as papaya on the palate. Flesh and acidity are well matched."


92 points - Bob Campbell
"Quite an oaky wine with a strong oak influence on both the nose and palate. Richly textural white with the sort of weight and grip I expect from chardonnay. Quite a pleasing, complex wine with power and a lengthy finish. A distinctly unique wine with a character all of its own"


"Lovely Bordeaux mix that really takes on a different expression in NZ. Lots shiny acidity and green stuff but also things like dill, gunpowder and bay leaf"  4.5/5 Stars

"My kind of NZ SB! Old world meets new, this gives Cloudy Bay a run for its money in my books. Refreshing, smooth as silk, balanced. With Semillon added to the mix, which adds a nice layer of complexity & balance. Layers of passion fruit, gooseberry, fresh cut citrus, hint of guava, touch of thyme, wet stone, yum.A cutting minerality takes it somewhere French while the vibrant fruit brings it back home"  4/5 Stars

"I've had several Bordeaux Blanc and they were decidedly meh as a rule. In fact I can't remember having one I was excited about. In comes Pegasus with the aromatics of NZ Sauvignon Blanc with the unctuousness of Semillon. Upon pouring there is a slight reductive note that isn't off putting but notable. The capsicum (green pepper) notes from stand out creating a baseline that elevates the blend over the Bordeaux icon. So delicious! Wax me surprised! BOOM!"  4/5 Stars

Other Details

5 Star white from one of New Zealand's best wineries - "rich, vibrant and bold"
5 Star Kiwi white - "gives Cloudy Bay a run for its money"
2018-08-17 23:59:59
#review=Raymond Chan:
#review=James Suckling:
#review=Bob Campbell:
#stars_review=Michael Cooper's NZ Wine Guide:
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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