Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2010
Ripe red-berry fruits, wild cherries and blueberries. Whiffs of barbequed meats, grilled mushrooms, wood-smoke, dark chocolate and vanilla pods. Velvety tannins, which flow through the palate and help draw out its lingering, spicy, tangy after-taste.
|Grape Blend||Pinot Noir 100%|
We have about a dozen different clones planted in our pinot noir blocks. The vines, many of which are 25 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, which allows the fruit to ripen fully whilst retaining its good, natural acid levels. The drainage is helped by stones intermingled with the soil. The period of cooler weather, mentioned above, occurred over flowering and lead to naturally low crop levels, which has given the wine extra depth and concentration.
Budburst was early because the weather over that period was one of the warmest ever recorded. Late spring and early summer however, were unseasonably cool and cloudy, sufficiently slowing the development of the grapes to cause us concern. The skies then cleared and we had three to four months of unbroken sunshine. This enabled us to leave the fruit on the vine to attain excellent maturity and ripeness.
We use 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 malolactic (secondary) 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.
93+/100 - “Medium-bodied, the palate is led by a solid structure of medium to firm grainy tannins and crisp acid supporting the muscular red berry and savoury flesh, finishing long.” Lisa Perrotti Brown MW, robertparker.com, USA
94/100 - “This is crazy pure with strawberry, flowers, raspberries and licorice. Full and very dense with fabulous tannins and length. Chewy yet polished. Drink or hold.” James Suckling, USA
5 Stars - "... should flourish for a decade. Deep and youthful in colour, it is powerful and finely fragrant, with dense cherry, plum and slight liquorice flavours, deliciously rich and well-rounded." Michael Cooper, Buyers Guide 2013, NZ
93+/100 - 'Top Wine of NZ tasting (100's tasted)' “…downright Chambolle-like. Sweet and densely packed but youthfully tight, with impressive inner-mouth energy giving the intense red berry and mineral flavours terrific penetration. The superb rising finish saturates the palate with mineral-driven fruit. This is painfully backward today and may yet merit an even higher score with a few years in bottle.” Steve Tanzer, internationalwinecellar.com, USA