Pegasus Bay Wines
One of the most historical wineries that you've never heard of.
Pegasus Bay was established by the Donaldson family who were pioneers of the Canterbury (New Zealand) wine industry. Professor Ivan Donaldson, a consultant neurologist, planted one of the region's first ever vineyards in the mid-1970s as he saw the huge grape-growing potential in Canterbury.
Still a completely family run operation with eight members all helping out, from the winemaking to the marketing; the Donaldson's are what you call passionate and progressive winemakers.
Pegasus Bay use traditional winemaking techniques like what you'd find in Burgundy and Bordeaux except always try to ensure that all farming is undertaken sustainably and in a modern fashion to ensure future health of the vineyards, the land and the country.
When we received their Pinot Noir and Sauvignon/Semillon wines in for a taste, we were completely blown away by their sophistication and approach-ability, even in their infancy stages. Expect Premium French style of elegance and power by without the price tag or ageing requirement! In addition to these, we also have their other wines available.
Blank Bottle By Pieter Walser
As rebel winemakers go, Pieter H Walser is about as rebellious as you can get. This is the South African behind Blankbottle, the winery that picked up a good deal of press recently on account of one of its wines, Limbic, having the blend chosen by the sub-conscious part of Walser’s brain hooked up to electrodes.
We have written about Pieter before, but with new, intriguing wines out we thought we'd give you a little teaser (or shall we say taster, tee hee)!
First off, there's Jaa-Bru!! An early picked Malbec from Stellenbosch, meaning lower alcohol. Uniquely South African with its minty and eucalyptus notes over classic dark fruit. Jaa-Bru means "Hey Brother" in Afrikaan and Malbec coincidentally translates to Crazy Mouth (check out the label of this bottle).
Rabbitsfoot is Pieter's secret wine. He has given no information about this wine other than it's a one-off production from a single little vineyard in Stellenbosch. Try it to find out for yourself!
Retirement@65 is fresh, floral and perfumed! Reminiscent of Pinot Noir in weight, this supple drop of plonk screams to be drunk with BBQ food, you could even chill it slightly!
ULTRA is about a rave-going, farmer that Pieter works with. A juicy classic Chenin Blanc with added texture from being fermented and matured in amphorae.
Im Hinterhofkabuff. No, I haven't gone crazy. This is a wine named after Pieter's famed office, which translates in German to backyardshack due to its run down appearance with skew walls but with heaps of soul. A lot like this white grape blend from the Western Cape with an incredibly pretty floral nose and a savoury stone fruit and spiced citrus palate.
In good fashion, Pieter created a wine to annoy a close friend. His friend's Syrah was called Seventy, so Pieter went with 69.99999. The percentage reflects the percentage of whole bunch clusters that went into the fermentation to bring out the spice brought to the juice. Lip-smacking good!
Go BIG, or go home. All the Cabernet Sauvignon components that went into BIG were also bottled separately by Pieter, meaning that you can taste through how the affect of altitude and proximatey to sea change a wine!
Last but not least, the Empire Strikes Back - and no, I'm not talking about Luke Skywalker. The red star on the label stands as a shining hope for the Swartland Revolution (the Swartland Rhone guys) with the stripes as the Empire of South African Wines. Pieter felt it was time that the bastion of SA conservatism hit back with something edgy, though this wine isn’t really out there at all, but it is dynamic.
TWP Wines is run by Stefano Girelli, whose family has been at the heart of Italian winemaking for three generations. Stefano’s portfolio stretches the length of Italy, from the Veneto, to Tuscany, to Puglia and Sicily, and places a strong emphasis on Stefano’s passion for organic methods. Many of the wines are certified organic (and vegan!) and all are made in an eco-friendly way, with a long-term commitment to the environment.
With a white, rosé and a red, there's something for everyone!
The white is a classic blend of Pinot Grigio and Catarratto. Pinot Grigio is the ugly duckling of wine grapes, and people tend to forget what a good Pinot Grigio tastes like and how refreshing they usually are. The Fedele is actually a blend of Catarratto, which gives some body, cream and some delicate pear and ripe melon flavours, whilst the Pinot Grigio brings some hints of peach and stoned fruit and an incredible freshness.
His rosé and red both utilise Nero D'Avola, a rich black grape. The rosé is highly characterful with a bright nose and tons of fresh red berry fruit. It is lively and vibrant, perfect as an aperitif or a great choice with prawns!
The red has a wonderful structure, deep, fruity red berry flavours and soft tannins. A mile away from the mass produced, overly sweet and flabby norm – it’s very, very drinkable. Good paired with red meat, tomato-based pasta sauces or pizza. It also works well with smoky barbequed meat and veg.
- Alex Rondel