Pinot Noir Greatness From The End of the Earth
Central Otago, New Zealand is about as far as you can go to the edge of the wine world’s map and is one of the best places in the world to make fine Pinot Noir. Akarua is one of its top producers as evidenced by its 12 “Best Of” champion trophies and 28 gold medals at international wine competitions over the last six years. This 2015 “RUA” Pinot Noir earned 95 points in Decanter’s World Wine Awards. Decanter judges called this “a real charmer with no lack of finesse and flavour. Positively impressive.” With word getting out, we don’t expect this 2015 Akarua Rua Pinot Noir to stay under $20 for long. But for now, a 95-point stunner that goes the distance, just $19.99 per bottle.
The Skeggs family was among the first to identify the potential of Central Otago, and possessed the means to do something about it. The first vines were planted under Sir Clifford Skeggs’ direction on warm, north-facing slopes in the superlative Bannockburn subregion in 1996 and the first small commercial vintage was produced in 1999. As the largest landholder in Central Otago, Akarua, now guided by Sir Clifford’s son David Skeggs, has incredible control over what goes into the finished wines, and their winemaking and vineyard management teams continue to push the envelope on quality.
Vineyard manager Mark Naismith is transitioning the estate into organics and biodynamics, and winemaker Andrew Keenleyside has nearly a decade of experience at the estate, with previous stints at top producers in California, Oregon, and Germany. In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a stellar introduction to the world-class Pinot Noirs of Central Otago, or are already a fan and looking to try a new producer, look no further than Akarua’s 2015 Rua Pinot Noir.