Akarua’s Pinot Noirs rank among the best in the world, and have the awards to prove it. The 2012 Bannockburn Akarua Pinot Noir is their finest release ever: Its accolades include being named New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir and earning the Champion Pinot Noir Trophy at the prestigious Winestate Wine Awards.
Akarua’s Pinot Noirs rank among the best in the world, and have the awards to prove it. This library release of 2012 Bannockburn Akarua Pinot Noir is their finest ever: Its accolades include being named New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir, earning the Champion Pinot Noir Trophy at the prestigious Winestate Wine Awards 2014, as well as racking up eight gold medals and a rave 94-point score from James Suckling, who praised its “wealth of richness and vibrant sweet, mouth-watering fruit” and “immense depth.” Available elsewhere for $85, thanks to my relationship with Akarua, I was able to secure a direct allocation straight from the winery’s library reserves at just $29.99 per bottle.
James Halliday has called Central Otago “God’s country when it comes to Pinot Noir” and this acclaimed release with its ripe, complex nose of black plum, black cherry, dried wild thyme and clove and dark chocolate oak and its sumptuous palate balanced by bright acidity and velvety tannins is all the evidence you need of why. As a native of New Zealand, I could not be more thrilled to introduce this gorgeous effort from Central Otago’s top producer to Wine Access clients.
The world’s southernmost wine region, Central Otago is home to extreme conditions and dramatic diurnal temperature shifts that lend Akarua’s Pinot Noirs their lavish black-fruit concentration and incredible complexity. Superlatives abound: Throughout the year, it is one of New Zealand’s driest, coldest, and hottest places. But as engineers who gathered climate data while building the Clyde Dam in the 1980s discovered, Bannockburn in the heart of Central Otago also shares remarkably similar seasonal and weather conditions with Burgundy. Hence why Akarua’s wines from this exceptional region are often compared to top releases from Volnay and Côte de Beaune.
Because Akarua founder Sir Clifford Skeggs was among the region’s vinicultural pioneers, he was able to snap up one of the best north-facing Pinot Noir sites in Bannockburn — the vineyard where this brilliant 2012 release hails from. At around 900 feet above sea level, vines struggle to thrive in soils of broken schist and sand while enduring oven-hot days and freezing nights. Thanks to 2012’s Indian summer, extended hang time made for this Pinot’s superb, wound-up juiciness. A tour-de-force showing from the region!
Matt Deller MW
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