Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Sauvignon Semillon 2020 $34
Buy. This. Wine. Now. Go! Goddamn it!! I don’t even know how to start telling you how incredibly delicious this wine is. It’s been a long time since I’ve just been so moved by a wine that I literally feel like running out into the street to scream “this is an AMAZING DRINK!” to anyone passing by. I’ve been a fan of Pegasus Bay’s white Bordeaux blend ever since their first bottling, which I think was back in 1998 (?) and the 2020 is the best I’ve ever tried. In fact, it’s so good, it’s definitely in the running to be my top white wine of the year. Here’s why. It’s gorgeously golden in the glass and erupts with aromas of freshly baled hay, white nectarine, guava, preserved lemon and quince, all of which liquefy and launch themselves across the palate in a tsunami of tropical, textural taste sensations. A whisper of smoke cloaks fresh lime and yuzu notes and accentuates an incredibly juicy, satisfyingly saturated finish. It’s not sauvignon blanc and it’s not semillon. It’s just an outstanding white wine that you must must try.
How is it made? Around 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon grapes were picked in stages, timing each harvest to optimise the grapes’ range of natural flavours. They were fermented separately, with most of the Sauvignon Blanc going into stainless steel tanks, where half the fruit was fermented in whole bunches and then matured on its skins for 200 days. 200 days! All the Semillon went in oak puncheons to add texture, and both varieties were aged on their yeast lees (sur lie) for approximately 10 months, prior to blending. Once bottled, the wine was left to age for another year before release, allowing it to integrate further.