2011 Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Waipara

SKU #1157621 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale straw-tinged yellow. Complex, bracing aromas of gooseberry, white pepper, ginger, quinine, crushed stone and dusty herbs, plus a hint of lanolin. Broad, spicy and quite dry, with firm acidity giving excellent cut to the subtle flavors of citrus fruits and floral oils; more concentrated than the overwhelming majority of New Zealand's sauvignon-based wines.. The long finish features a bitter-edged grapefruit note that calls for a year or two of patience.  (10/2013)

90 points James Suckling

 This is a very lively and rich wine with passion fruit and lemons. Full and flavorful. Bright lively finish.  (12/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 Smells more Sauvignon-dominated than the 2007 but then it is a good deal younger and the Semillon needs time to build its character. Ripe vintage so picked early -- very racy. Ripe and a touch of reduction -- 'beneficial sulphides'. Dry and fine and fresh and a lovely balance with a dry fine grain texture. Very juicy perhaps and less elegant than the 2007, for now at least. 17/20 points. Drink 2013 to 2018

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 With pronounced notes of pink grapefruit, green mango and musk accented by suggestions of fresh dill, lemon zest and cedar, the light to medium-bodied 2011 Sauvignon Semillon fills the palate with citrus and herbal flavors held up by a lively backbone of acid and a good, long finish. Drink it now to 2015+. (LPB)  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "La Nina weather conditions produced a beautifully warm summer. Fermentation was by indigenous yeasts, followed by ageing sur lie, the semillon component being in old French oak barriques. French traditionally blend a portion semillon into sauvignon blanc to help subdue the latter's pungency, add richness and complexity and ensure longevity. This wine has aromas and flavours of passionfruit, Turkish musk and tropical spices intermingled with a splash of freshly crushed thyme and mint. In the mouth it is full-bodied and concentrated but muscular rather than opulent. The finish is firm, dry and lingering. While ready to drink on release it should develop additional layers of complexity with careful cellaring over several years."

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Price: $26.99
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Sauvignon Blanc

- One of the best known "international" varieties originally cultivated in France and considered the parent of, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon. Sauvignon's wonderfully distinctive aromatics generate some of wine's most colorful descriptors, among them "cat pee," herbaceous, grassy, citrusy the world over. In France, the apex of Sauvignon Blanc production is the Loire Valley, in the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, where the terroir expresses itself most beautifully through the grape. Sauvignon Blanc is also the leading white grape varietal in Bordeaux, where it is paired with the fatter, richer Sémillon to varying degrees. Relatively easy to cultivate, though more suited to cool climates, Sauvignon Blanc has made inroads in Europe outside of France, especially in Northeastern Italy's Friuli and Alto Adige, but also on the Slovenian border. These lovely wines are often overshadowed by Sauvignon Blanc's achievements in the New World, namely New Zealand, South Africa and California. New Zealand's Sauvignon Blancs, more conspicuously fruity than most French examples, landed the small island nation on the world wine map in the late-1980s and 1990s. South African Sauvignons are one of the most successful international varieties produced in that country and are often quite elegant and affordable. In California, Robert Mondavi managed to, almost single-handedly, created a market for Sauvignon Blanc by renaming his oak-fermented version Fumé Blanc. While some wineries still use the name, California Sauvignon Blanc has secured its place in the California wine pantheon, particularly those from the Napa Valley. Washington State, Chile and Argentina also have considerable plantings of the grape.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.