TN: Daniel Schuster 2006 Waipara Pinot Noir 'Selection'

TN: Daniel Schuster 2006 Waipara Pinot Noir 'Selection’

Having tried two vintages of Schuster’s wines, I am now curious to try other Waipara Pinots. I am pretty comfortable buying Central Otago wines, and I occasionally find a Marlborough Pinot whose palate almost equals its aromatics, but the best of Schuster’s stuff makes me wonder what else is out there in Waipara?

Anyway, I slightly preferred the 04 version of this over the 06, though both are quite fine QPRs that should retail somewhere around $18-$25. There are two higher levels, though the top ‘Omihi’ selection is not made every year. The 04 mid-tier, tasted over lunch a couple of days ago, was more overtly earthy than this wine, with light color and considerable clearing towards the rim. These are not saturated Pinots.

From the first smell and taste, I kept thinking this was like the best Passetoutgrain I had ever had. That will sound like damning with faint praise, but I like PTG from the right sources, and this has flavors that made me think of a hypothetical blend of 50% Beaune/50% Cru Beaujolais. There’s plenty of strawberry, leaf and tobacco there, with hints of freshly sanded wood.

In the mouth, this is generous and sappy without turning simple or insipid. Lots of lively red fruit, with hints of cola, and texturally this has the satiny feel of Beaujolais.

I would drink this again.

Another other Waipara producers of note available in the U.S.?

I have seen Pegasus Bay and Muddy Water consistently here in the US.

Wasn’t it Mountford that HiTime was blowing out at $16/bottle in their latest mailing?

Anyhow, I agree that Waipara gets overlooked due to the attention paid to Otago and Martinborough (not to mention Marlborough). When I was traveling in the region, Pegasus Bay was one of my favorite stops (as much for their whites as for the Pinot et al).