It is definitively a product of old vines or perhaps I am showing my age, as it seems like I have been drinking this wine (Pegasus Sauvignon Semillon) for as long as I can remember.
The Donaldson family, pioneers of the Waipara Valley, declare that 2012 was the latest harvest in memory with the semillon picked in late May, a seriously long hang-time! Couple this with vines that are over a quarter-of-century old and a low crop, it is an incredibly concentrated wine with a cut and thrust that is exhilarating, yet poised and oozing class and balance with a length of flavour that will outlast your memory.
What I get immediately is an exotic perfume of feijoa and grilled pineapple with a background of mandarin and orange zest; there are some sweeter notes of ripe mango and golden peaches with custard. As the wine breaths it becomes a hedonistic melange of stone fruits and citrus carried wonderfully in a musky fragrance with a fresh ginger and laksa leaf spicy uplift and an alluring nettle/herbal complexity with nuances of shiso, lemongrass, tarragon and thyme along with lurking scents of wet chalk/limestone–the sort of wine you find yourself nosing more than drinking–with such captivating aromas.
The palate is equally exciting and full of energy, indeed a torrent of succulent stone fruits and tantalizing tangy citrus yet gorgeously wrapped in a creamy viscous texture; on the one hand or cheek as it were, racy and invigorating and the other slippery, soft and glycerol caressing the long, long…and penetrating farewell with a spiciness and stinging tanginess.
This is a seriously powerful white wine and clearly semillon is an excelsior in the blend; wonderfully decedent and invigorating, drinking well now but you can sense with its unbridled power and cut it will cellar for 10 years or more. Furthermore, it is an absolute bargain and I am going to order 4 cases now, to put down for my 60th birthday!
I am also going to broach another bottle with some Milford Sound crayfish poached in a curry laksa sauce, which I think will work rather well. And you have to watch this video – click here
I might add, we are going through serious quantities of the Pegasus Aria Riesling at the moment, their late harvest offering which we drizzle over (and drink with it) poached winter fruits like pears, apples and rhubarb along with Manuka honey for dessert–separate article coming on this.
Visit the Pegasus Bay website www.pegasusbay.com to purchase direct and for a list of stockist.
The Wandering Palate is a bit of a fan of Pegasus Bay, see links for further reading, and if you happen to be in the region, lunch and luxuriating around the property is a mandatory.
Red Wine of the Lunar Year – Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Prima Donna 2009 – Waipara Valley, South Island, New Zealand – click here
Wine Feng Shui – Most Auspicious Wine for the Year of the Black Water Dragon 2012 – click here
I can also say that the legendary Wandering Palate Duck Curry work very well with Pegasus Bay Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir, tried and tested at the winery – click here for recipe