Second only to Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, Pinot Noir is planted all over New Zealand. In Central Otago where this wine is produced, however, Pinot Noir is king. There are varying sub-climates in the region ranging from quite warm to a little bit cool. As one might expect the warmer climates see riper richer wines and the cooler ones edgier wines with more crunchy fruit. In the Bannockburn appellation where this wine is produced the climate is quite warm and this richer style definitely comes through.
Akarua is one of the largest vineyard owners in the area with about 125 hectares of land under vine at the time of writing. Of course much of this land has come to them through acquisition of other vineyards. Their vineyards in the area provide a variety of slight variances in climate and exposure, which contribute in the final blend of a lot of their wines.
The wine in question, the 2016 Akarua Pinot Noir is definitely very elegant right off the bat. Upon putting my nose the glass their is definite dark cherry, dark plum, baking spice, liquorice, earth and thyme profile going on here. Perhaps a little over-oaked for my taste with a definite proportion of new oak but it’s well integrated and with a couple of years should integrate. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied but definitely moving towards medium +. Concentrated cherry and plum with great depth. Definite spicy and herbaceous thing going on, on the back end giving the wine some further interest. Slightly grippy fine-grained tannins lead to a medium + finish. Overall this is damn good Central Otago Pinot Noir. Was there things stylistically that I would have preferred? I would say so but all-in-all this is delicious, has a great mouthfeel and holds true to the style of the region. Worth picking up and I would definitely drink again, particularly with the right wine pairing, thinking duck with seasonal veg or a succulent pork dish.
Have you had this wine before? Want to try it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.