Monday 2 January 2006

pi·not noir

I was so happy to see that the seventeeth round of Wine Blogging Wednesday as hosted by The Corkdork is to feature New Zealand Red Wine - I knew exactly why we had been saving a bottle of Daniel Schuster Omihi Hills Vineyard Selection 2002.

"Omihi Hills Vineyard selection represents the finest pinot noir grapes harvested from selected plots from within our Omihi Hills Vineyard in Waipara."

We actually won this bottle at a blending class hosted by the weird and wonderful Rumble and Daniel Schuster himself. The 2004 vinyard selection blend was about to be bottled and Daniel had brought some of the raw components to Wellington for the class. The idea of the class was for us lucky folk to try the individual parts that are blended together to produce a well rounded wine ; in part so we could try the "depth", "nose" and "body" without the support of the complete wine but also to illustrate the art of blending.

All the parts were from the Pinot grape, but had been grown in different plots of the vineyard and as such demonstrated very different characteristics. It was amazing to have Daniel describe the land in which the vine was grown just from tasting the wine. Just by adding a splash more of one wine to the blend we were able to produce a different tasting blend. I can't help but say that this was very much like cooking ; a dash more of this, and spot more of that and the whole dish can change.

This wine was an amazing change from the run of the mill Pinots I had tried up until then. It was delicious, fruity and fairly light as I remember in 2004 when we first tried this vintage. At the time we were told that it would age well, so now at the beginning of 2006, almost four years later, we can find out . .

It is wonderful! Much browner in colour, but still ruby red. It smells less floral than I remember. Cherries and almonds come to mind. To me it tastes substantial - big and lasting. It leaves a fantastic taste in the mouth, but it is still light.

Just perfect for 3:20 on a sunny Monday afternoon, going remarkably well with apple and walnut cake.

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