Vintages delicious after a decade

Pegasus Bay’s "aged release" programme, now in its seventh year, is a marvellous opportunity, 10 years from vintage, to assess the development of their rieslings and pinot noirs. With the help of my tasting buddy Mr McLaren, I assembled three Central pinot noirs from our cellars to provide a fascinating comparison.

I’m frequently asked how long to keep wine; that’s a moving target dependent on grape variety, vine age, vintage, producer, country of origin and so on, and I tend to err on the side of caution. I’m delighted to report that the following have all travelled beautifully.


2012 Pegasus Bay Aged Release North Canterbury Riesling

Price RRP $40
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Delightful nose,
toastiness, dry honey,
mandarin, chopped
herbs, a smoky quality,
exuding richness. A rush
of honey, orange and
musk fills the palate,
grapefruit tinged acidity
lending a drier finish than
one might expect,
picking up a little almond
note. Complexity,
integration, lovely
texture, a perfect
example of the benefits
of age.


2012 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir

Price N/A
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Fragrant nose, bramble,
wild herb, earth,
perfumed fruit more and
more evident. Still some
chewy tannins,
crunchiness to the
texture, with zesty
acidity to the fore. Kicks
into gear with aeration,
the fruit grows,
matched by spicy
elements, showing
lovely vibrancy. If
anything, this belies its
age yet it’s into its
drinking plateau and in a
nice place now.


2012 Doctors Flat Central Otago Pinot Noir

Price N/A
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Perfumed with wood
smoke, bonfire
embers, an almost
musky element.
Inviting, draws you in.
Dustiness, pencil lead,
chopped herbs, lovely
integration, filling the
mouth, still lively, with
a backdrop of tannins
quietly evident.
Elegant, very much
about the secondary
characters. Ready to
enjoy but no rush if
you have a bottle or
three in the cellar.


2012 Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Aged Release Pinot Noir

Price RRP $130
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Fascinating nose, hints of
molasses, balsamic and
spices, fragrance exudes
from the glass, growing
florality. Density and
richness, wisps of plum,
clay, spices, wild herbs
and savoury/salami
touches. Crisp acidity
and growing tannins give
this an excellent
framework still, yet the
matching density to this
offers mouthfilling
roundness. Just getting
into its stride.


2012 Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir

Price N/A
Rating Outstanding

Attractive perfume,
spices, flecks of
balsamic, earthy
touches, growing
nicely with aeration.
Still showing fine
tannins, crunchy hints
and fresh but
integrated acidity. A
tangy lift, some
berryfruit and
cranberry, the spicy
elements growing.
Delightful balance, a
coolness and juiciness
to this that draws you
back for more. Ready,
but could carry on.


2012 Pegasus Bay Aged Release Pinot Noir

Price RRP $70
Rating Outstanding

Darker, still almost
brooding, with hints of
plum, boysenberry,
spice and wood smoke,
charcuterie with time.
Excellent complexity,
tilled earth, bonfire
embers, lead pencil,
spices, savoury/meaty
notes, fruit still
underlying this. A sense
of richness and
chewiness, the
structure still here yet
the fruit weight to
support it. Lovely length
and superb drinking.

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