The Donaldson Family, who have been seriously involved in viticulture and winemaking for over 40 years, have been setting aside each year a few cases of their key varieties - Riesling and Pinot Noir – with the intention of releasing them 10 years later; this practice has been taking place every vintage since 2006 with a release date of around August each year. The inspiration for this came from the desire to offer customers the opportunity to taste these wines in full maturity, something that is relatively rare these days. Pegasus Bay consider ten years to be a very satisfying time to experience these wines with the added complexities of bottle age, while still offering years of good drinking ahead. Pegasus Bay is an accredited member of the NZWG sustainable viticulture programme and firmly believe in the principles of using natural methods to counteract pests and diseases, rather than the application of unnecessary pesticides and herbicides. Structure and texture are hallmarks of the estate’s highly individual wines.
Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Prima Donna Aged Release 2010
On release the wine is a deep crimson shot with lingering hints of purple. It is redolent with suggestions of ripe red-berry fruits, wild cherries and blueberries. These intertwine with whiffs of barbequed meats, grilled mushrooms, wood-smoke, dark chocolate and vanilla
pods. Although the entry is soft it seems to rapidly expand in the mouth to become rich, powerful and muscular. In spite of this it retains refinement and poise with a long robe of velvety tannins, which flow through the palate and help draw out its lingering,
spicy, tangy after-taste.
Traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. After picking in mid-April, the grapes, without their stems, were put into small fermenting vats, retaining as many whole berries as possible. They were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from their skins. After this time the grapes had 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 grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for another two weeks to help extract other tannins which add structure and depth. The duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was drained off and put into oak barriques (40% new) from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent malolacticsecondary) fermentation. Both this and the original fermentation phase were completely natural with no added micro-organisms. Prima Donna is made in only
special years and 2010 was definitely one of these. After maturing for 18 months we select the barriques which best reflect our vineyard and the season. Typically these come from our oldest vines. The wine is then carefully blended according to taste to produce Prima Donna.