Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon - Wine of the week

A great white, modelled on the best dry wines from Bordeaux, France, but made in North Canterbury, New Zealand.

Wine of the week, 8 February 2023


2020 Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon RRP $35.99

Hot nights call for cool whites and this fleshy, full bodied, bone dry white blend casts a new light on New Zealand's most commercially successful white wine, Sauvignon Blanc, which makes up 70% of this wine and fermented in stainless steel to retain freshness and fruit purity. The 30% Semillon was fermented in oak puncheons (larger in size than classic small barriques), which provides a softening, roundness to the high acidity of this white grape. Both spent time on lees; the decomposing yeast cells left over after fermentation, which also adds depth of flavour and complexity.

The result is an outstanding full bodied, dry wine with layers of flavour, complex aromas and while it has a definite Sauvignon-ness about it, this wine is so much more than what we have come to expect from this popular white grape variety. This wine is a winner - and a keeper. History shows it ages superbly for up to a decade.