Akarua Bannockburn Pinot Noir, Central Otago
Made (usually) with a blend of Pinots from Akarua’s Cairnmuir and Felton Rd vineyards. Both sites have an average vine age of over 20 years– both planted in the late 1990s when the region was attracting so much attention.
The Akarua Bannockburn Pinot steps into the darker end of the fruit spectrum with plums and cherries. However, there’s a savoury herbal element coupled with the freshness of the wines to keep things very interesting. Consistency is the watchword with the Akarua. ‘Reliable’ and ‘consistent’ are words often used to damn with faint praise or as code for being boring. Nothing could be further from the truth here. This Pinot is reliably and consistently a standout performer from the Bannockburn.
Light to mid crimson. Slightly medicinal, dark-red fruit but still quite delicate with a peppery freshness. Chewy, firm outer case with juicy fruit in the middle. Oak is well hidden but has perhaps thickened the tannins. Similar but less intense floral character compared with the 2002 The Gullies.
17 points, Julia Harding MW (January 2018)
Full, bright, young red/purple colour. The bouquet is fresh and bright, dark-fruited and cherry-plummy, the palate gorgeously plump, fruity and varietal, with intensity and charm as well as bright youthfulness.
95 points, Huon Hooke (January 2019)
Cherry lolly, spice, thyme, coffee. Red fruits, tangy acidity and grainy tannin, kind of bony and ungiving, acidity a little pushy on the finish, but has some finesse too. Solid.
90 points, Gary Walsh (September 2018)
Central Otago, located at the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand, is the world’s most southerly wine region. In a short amount of time, the area has established itself as a world-class region for Pinot Noir. The picturesque region is surrounded by mountains ensuring a cool semi-continental climate that experiences a large diurnal range contributing to the creation of intensely concentrated wines with perfume, and complexity. Central Otago’s vineyard area is divided into six distinct sub regions each with their own climate and wine style. Best known for producing intensely Fruity medium to full bodied Pinot Noir, Central Otago’s cool climate also produces outstanding Riesling as well as superb bottle-fermented Sparkling wines.