Akarua Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
Availability: 100 in stock
Deep bright ruby in colour, this wine showcases intense plum and red cherry flavours and the complexity that Bannockburn Pinot Noir is renowned for. On the nose, it has spicy aromas of star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon intermingled with notes of brambles and wild thyme. The palate is elegantly balanced with a tight acidity and an underlying earthiness. Its finely textured tannins lead to a long, smoky finish.
“Fragile beauty is achievable even in the harshest of climates” – a mantra that perfectly reflects not only the incredible wines produced by Akarua but the terroir they’ve been produced in. Akarua is a family owned winery based in Bannockburn, Central Otago – an area known for possessing the same environmental growing conditions as that of Burgundy. Currently in what they (and we) consider to be their prime, ‘Akarua’ has only moved from strength to strength under the leadership of David Skeggs with support of renowned award-winning Winemaker Andrew Keenleyside at his side, ‘Akarua’ has never seen better days and it seems the only direction they are heading in is up.
Established in 1996 by Sir Clifford Skeggs, ‘Akarua’ was one of the first larger scale producers to commit to Central Otago’s harsh yet alluring terrain for winemaking and acquired one of the highest and most stunning elevated north facing sites in the region. With the first small vintage produced in 1999, Akarua’s flagship Pinot Noir won its first trophy in 2002 at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Since 2009 they have won an award for each subsequent vintage of the Pinot, demonstrating that their quality is consistent.
From small beginnings, ‘Akarua’s’ full portfolio now consists of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Rose, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and of course, Sparkling wine. Since their release in 2011 the Akarua Brut and Akarua Rose Brut have garnered multiple awards and trophies at wine shows across New Zealand – just one of the many reasons they are Specialist Cellars go to wines in any occasion.
For more information on Akarua and their wines, you can visit their website here.
Found at the extreme limits of winemaking, Central Otago is found at 44° and 45° south and is home to some of the most southerly vineyards the world has to offer. Boasting breathtaking landscapes and an extreme climate, the local economy has garnered global recognition for its merino wool. However, over the previous decade, the majority of land has been shifted away from pasture, to being under vine. In 1996 Otago only had 11 vineyards, while today the region has a legion over 100 strong. The incredibly balanced styles of wine that flow from the region aren’t something to be missed, with Central Otago being the first in the world to challenge Burgundy’s production of Pinot Noir.
Central Otago’s four primary sub-regions are Wanaka, Gibbston, Bannockburn and Alexandra. While all are situated relatively close together and each has the same stony free-draining soil base, their full profiles vary immensely, but are glacially derived and have rich deposits of mica and schist making it ideal for the production of Pinot Noir, which just happens to be 80% of the production there. The excellent drainage helps retain mineral richness whilst temperatures can vary from 30degrees during ripening days to only 8degrees overnight, this swift shift allows the grape ripening process to stop more suddenly overnight, thus retaining all the wonderful natural acidity and fruit concentration this region can offer, to us this provides Central Otago with an intensely fruit-forward character no other region of New Zealand can replicate. Autumn frosts are a risk here too, so it’s just as well the growers down here have their wits about them…