Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2017

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2017

  • Pinot Noir
  • New Zealand, 750ml

"Immensely complex and engaging, the wine shows dark berry richness with warm spice, roasted nut, smoky bacon and forest floor nuances, leading to a gracefully powerful palate delivering multi-layered mouthfeel and silky tannins. Mouthfilling and sumptuous, finishing impressively long and gratifying." Sam Kim

  • Winery: Pegasus Bay
  • Varietal: Pinot Noir
  • Region: Waipara Valley, New Zealand
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Volume: 750ml
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Food pairing: Chicken & duck; lamb & mild sausage; tuna & salmon; mushroom risotto; mushroom & light-medium red sauces; brie & goats cheese

"Bright, clear ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. The wine has an alluring bouquet, slowly growing with red fruit, cherries, dried cranberries, underlying spice, forest floor, dried herb and delicate flower, along with a hint of smoky minerals. Medium- bodied, sweet fruit of cherries, dried cranberries, hibiscus, unfolding mushroom, forest floor, dried herb, then cinnamon, grounded nutmeg lingers with minerals. The wine is complex and pretty, delicate with underlying power and strength. Integrated lacy acidity seductively gliding along a fine-grained, silky mouthfeel to linearity, enduring sweet fruit and floral. This seductive Pinot Noir with delicate sweet fruit and floral features on a silky mouthfeel with power, charm, and a long, satisfying finish. Only produced in exceptional years, selected from best barrels made from the oldest ungrafted vines in the vineyard..." Candice Chow


The Donaldson family have been immersed in the wine industry since the early 1970s and were pioneers of local grape growing and wine making. Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson, first became interested in wine when his girlfriend at the time, Christine, gave him a book simply called - ‘Wine’.

Penned by English industry legend, Hugh Johnson, the book started Ivan on an exciting journey, that has never stopped. After travelling to explore the wine regions of Europe, Ivan returned home to plant one of the first vineyards of modern times in Canterbury… and to marry Christine, who has been an integral part of the Pegasus Bay story.

The first vineyard was a hobby with Ivan making wine in the garage at home on the weekends, in-between seeing patients at his private practice in the evening and after his shifts at the public hospital. He also started writing a wine column in the local paper (that he continued for over 20 years) and was a judge in numerous wine shows around the globe. In 2012 Ivan was awarded an Order of Merit for his contribution to Neurology.

By the mid 1980s Ivan and Chris had decided there was definitely a future for wine making in Canterbury. They went on to plant Pegasus Bay with the help of their four sons, who have all ended up working in key roles within the business. Ivan, now retired from medicine, continues to oversee viticulture while Chris’s ‘happy place’ is in the winery’s extensive grounds, now beautifully well-established thanks to her careful planting over the last 30 years.

Chris is also passionate about opera and the arts. She has embraced the local opera scene for many years, including singing in the chorus for a number of operatic productions. There has been many a concert held at the winery’s natural amphitheatre and a reserve range of wines have been dedicated to Chris’s love of opera.

Their eldest son, Matthew, is Winemaker and graduated with an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture from Roseworthy College, in Australia. He has worked numerous vintages in other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Burgundy, and in 2020 would have had his 28th vintage at Pegasus Bay.

Another son, Edward (a trained chef) is Marketing Manager and spends much of his time trotting the globe to promote the wines to around 20 countries where Pegasus Bay is distributed. His wife Belinda managers the hospitality side of the business focusing on premium events. 

Michael was the last son to join the business after his return from overseas, finding a natural fit as Local Sales Manager, while the youngest son Paul, who has an MBA, is the winery’s General Manager.

Pegasus Bay is proud to be entirely family-owned. 


"Our aim is to grow grapes of the highest quality, which fully express the features of the vineyard and to handle these with the utmost respect. Minimal intervention at all stages from vine to bottle typifies our approach.

We believe in sustainable viticultural management, low crop levels, minimal handling of fruit during processing and gentle pressing. We allow wines to go through natural malolactic fermentation and clarification by settling, without the use of fining agents.

We aspire to capture the unique flavours of the vineyard in our wine with texture, length and drinkability being trademarks of our house style. Pegasus Bay wines are made with estate grown fruit from our North Canterbury home vineyard."

Pegasus Bay - Donaldson Family Ltd.

  • 5 Stars & 97/100 Points - Sam Kim, Wine Orbit (2017 vintage)
  • 97/100 Points - James Suckling (2017 vintage)
  • 96/100 Points & 5 Stars - Bob Campbell (2017 vintage)
  • 19/20 Points - Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews (2017 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Joe Czerwinski (2017 vintage)
  • 5 Stars & 97/100 Points - Sam Kim, Wine Orbit (2016 vintage)
  • 19/20 Points - Joelle Thomson (2016 vintage)
  • 95/100 Points & 5 Stars - Bob Campbell (2016 vintage)
  • 18/20 Points - Stephen Wong MW (2016 vintage)
  • 18/20 Points - Cameron Douglas MS (2016 vintage)
  • 19/20 Points - Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews (2016 vintage)
  • 96/100 Points - Nick Stock (2016 vintage)
  • 5 Stars - Michael Cooper (2016 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Steve Leszczynski (2016 vintage)
  • 94/100 Points - Gary Walsh, The Winefront (2015 vintage)
  • 5 Stars & 97/100 Points - Sam Kim, Wine Orbit (2015 vintage)
  • 96/100 Points & 5 Stars - Bob Campbell (2015 vintage)
  • 96/100 Points - Nick Stock (2015 vintage)


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