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pegasus bay


Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2007 Riesling (Waipara) – Sweet lime and grapefruit, and getting just ever so slightly nervy, which is a quality that this solid, reliable wine doesn’t achieve all that often. I don’t know if it’s just a stage or a vintage effect, but this is suddenly more interesting than it was earlier this year. There’s more here, but it’s mostly hidden in a textural monoculture right now, and time will be required to tease out those nuances. (9/11)

Wing it

Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2002 Riesling (Waipara) – Creamed dust and papaya. But otherwise flat, dull-fruited, and short. Something went wrong here, and since other bottles from the same source have been fine, I’m going to blame the cork. (5/10)

The end

[vineyard]Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 1999 “Finale” (Waipara) – From 375 ml. My last, and best, bottle, exploding with spicy complexity, rich bronzed peach, and luxuriant texture. Fabulous. (9/09)

Fly, horsey, fly

[vineyard]Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2006 Riesling (Waipara Valley) – Lake, rather than river, riesling…by which I mean there’s a tranquility, and the mineral/structural underpinnings rest placidly rather than race past. Ripe apple, sweet lime, and a sunny acidity also play their part. A very engaging wine, still in the flush of youth. (8/09)

Bay leaves

Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2000 Pinot Noir (Waipara) – Big and dark, but not as weight-dominated as it was just a year ago, which means that signs that its made of pinot noir (rather than something more Rhônish) are starting to re-emerge. There’s always been good acidity, and the drawing back of the heft has revealed some delicious orange rocks within, but I still don’t think there’s any hurry to drink this. (7/09)

Wine on the wing

[vineyard]Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2007 Riesling (Waipara Valley) – Bright apple-lime fruit, lightly sweet, with mirror-reflective silver-foil minerality and the perfect amount of acidity. Surprisingly long for a wine that attempts to give of itself so early, yet experience suggests that this portends complexities to come. A very fine example of everything it is: the grape, the place, and the producer. (4/09)

Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2007 Riesling (Waipara Valley) – Exactly…exactly…the same as the previous bottle. This is why we like screwcaps. (4/09)


Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2002 Riesling (Waipara) – Melon, mandarin, and metal. There’s some well-balanced sweetness, but an acidic sharpness is really starting to bare the edge of its blade, which amps up the overall intensity. Very appealing. There’s plenty of life left here, and the structure to support it. (2/09)

Waipara the slate clean

[vineyard]Donaldson Family “Pegasus Bay” 2006 Riesling (Waipara Valley) – Vivacious and exciting. Lime, green apple, very ripe lemon, perhaps some other bright and sunny fruit…presented in crystal-clear digital sound. It hasn’t developed any analog richness yet, but it’s young. Quite long, with a steel spine driven straight through the center of the wine. The balance of acidity and sweetness is flawless. Very impressive. (1/09)

When horses fly

[bottle]Pegasus Bay 2000 Pinot Noir (Waipara) – The densest, most brooding, and darkest performance yet from this wine, which is in danger of developing a permanent scowl. The fruit has turned from purplish-blue to black-’n’-blue, while the structure remains intact; a light layer of tannin and a once-refreshing burst of acidity that now threatens to be the lightning strike amidst the storm. And, it must be noted, this is one of those pinots that seems to have had a illicit late-night rendezvous with syrah; even amongst the sometimes full-shouldered pinots of the region, this is a bit of a brute. Opinion at our table is divided into three camps: two like it as-is, one (a New World-style drinker) doesn’t care for it, and I think it’s simply too young, though I’m quite sure it will always present itself in roughly this fashion. Unfortunately, it’s also my last bottle. (5/08)