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edited by Sue Courtney
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Wine of the Week for week ending 27 May 2001
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Pegasus Bay Riesling 2000
Waipara, New Zealand

Label of Pegasus Bay Riesling 2000 I have come to the conclusion that the Pegasus Bay Rieslings are the best in New Zealand. Although I visited the winery in early 1995, I really only 'discovered' it just a couple of years ago and the Rieslings, in particular, I have fallen in love with. Those who follow this website will know I have spoken favourably of the Pegasus Bay Riesling in the past and the Pegasus Bay Riesling 2000 is possibly the best yet.

When I first tasted this wine as an undisclosed sample at the beginning of April, I thought it was from the Moselle area in Germany. The pale coloured wine with a lemon tinge emitted honeysuckle and juicy citrus aromas. But in the palate there was a little apple and wet wool and an earthy character, like there had been some rocks in the wine (imagine sucking a well rounded river pebble). There was a lovely sweetness to this low alcohol (10.5%), off-dry wine and a very long finish with juicy citrus and zest.

Thank goodness it was not a wine options competition, for I was 100% wrong - the wine was 100% Kiwi origin.

This was the first time I had really detected that cool-climate, earthy, mineral (mineral water) -like, almost chalky character that many other people seem to find, to this extent in a New Zealand Riesling. I loved it. This was indeed superb stuff.

So just last Friday I tried a sample of the wine from a bottle that had been open a couple of days. The quick taste and spit at about 11.00am in the morning made me wish it was late afternoon so I sit down and relax and enjoy a glass - or two. The juicy citrus flavours with their sweet floral connotations were a refreshing delight to the palate.

I took a bottle to dinner with friends that evening. It was definitely the right thing to do. Wonderful aromas of lemons and limes with a touch of grapefruit filled out in the mouth to give a honeyed apple and stone fruit richness which clung around the cheeks to intensify and linger with a zingy spicy tang, long after the wine was swallowed.

Superbly concentrated and balanced, the acidic structure will allow the wine to gracefully age for many a year to come.

Pegasus Bay have just launched their website at www.pegasusbay.com. The information on the site says the wine is sold out at the winery, but it should be available at fine wine retailers. The wine I saw last week was priced at NZ$19.95.

Pegasus Bay wines are exported to several countries in Asia, Europe, USA, UK and to our neighbours, Australia. The winery website has the distributor's contact details.

The website also proudly states 'Wine is a natural health food.'


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E-mail me: winetaster@clear.net.nz