Media Reviews / Awards

Akarua Pinot Noir 2009

  • Gold Medal


    Gold Medal

    New Zealand International Wine Show 2011
    5 Nations Wine Challenge 2012

  • Trophy



    Red Wine of Show & Pinot Noir Trophy - 5 Nations Wine Challenge 2012

  • Cuisine Magazine


    Cuisine Magazine

    5 Stars, Top 5 New Zealand Pinot Noir

“Akarua built its reputation on a massive fruit-bomb style from the 2002 vintage. It’s done it again with a wine of similar power but showing better balance. It’s an easy-to-love wine with a drop-dead silken texture and a lingering fruity finish”.

Nice and composed, with ripe plum and blue fruits, some cooler dark cherries and a very settled impression overall. This has a lick of oak that’s more apparent on the nose, some quite ripe tannins and a lithe acid line throughout; sweet baking spices chime in and there’s a lip-smaking richness through the finish, with elegant shape.

It was somewhat more restrained than the 2010, firmer and slightly chewier. The fruit is sweet , dark and juicy it is a earthy and nicely rounded on the palate.

Akarua built its reputation on a massive fruit-bomb style from the 2002 vintage. Its done it again with a wine of similar power but showing better balance. Its an easy to love wine with a drop-dead silken texture and a lingering fruity finish. Drink: 2011-2017.

(19.0-/20) aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels, has a deepish ruby-red colour with a pale edge and an elegant, tightly bound nose of fragrant red berry fruits an florals, very finely expressed. On palate, very classically structured with elegance of fine-grained tannins supporting violetty, dark red cherry fruit. This has freshness and a firmness at the heart of the wine that should see it develop greater complexity over the next 5-7 years

A slightly fuller version of Rua 2009 but also a more layered, complex version. There’s a touch more smoky oak, which gives notes of coffee and chocolate, similar cherry & red berry, and that same earthy minerality. A coiled spring that needs time to unfurl, but should be great in 2-3 years.

Pinot with Pedigree - With its hillside vineyard planted in 1996 and 50ha to select from, Akarua is well placed to make longer-lived wines. Its latest pinot, with its dense and elegant red and black cherry fruit infused with notes of smoky bacon and spice, comes from an impressive line.

Akarua Pinot Noir took the Champion Pinot Noir Trophy out of 21 Gold Medal Pinot Noirs.

"Its a deep and intense ruby colour with opulent aromas and powerful and succulent flavours. Chocolate and cherry combine with creamy oak, velvety tannins and the succulent finish has an earthy savoury depth. A delicious, rich and generous wine with a gorgeous infusion of spice and bright kick to the finish. I thought it quite outstanding, definitely of gold medal standard and a five star rating".

Very fine, nicely vegetal and gamy edges here, with sweet, ripe fruit and delicious life and energy on the palate. Great sweetness to the fruit, a little spice and juicy persistence. 91/100. 

Central Otago pinot noir is New Zealand’s glamour red but style varies.To my mind, this mid-range Akarua wine says “pinot” more accurately than this winery’s more expensive flagship. There’s lovely purity of pinot noir aromas of black plum, floral undergrowth and allspice, ahead of a ripe, intense palate and a lingering, fine finish.”
Ageing: drink of 5 years
Food ideas: roasted pigeons Chinese style; mature goat’s cheese

“Instantly attractive Bannockburn red, deeply coloured, with concentrated, ripe, cherryish, plumy flvours, showing good, savoury complexity. Rich wine, described by one panellist as “All there! Yum.”

Drink now or 10 years cellaring capacity. November 2010 – Issue 143
“Fragrant, plush, velvety. All that irresistible Central Otago allure is on offer in this beauty from Bannockburn. Winemaker Matt Connell has used oak to good effect – a layer of toast and hazelnut mingles harmoniously with the dark, rich fruit notes. A baby now, it will develop beautifully over the coming years.”

“Connell has also come up trumps with his top-tier reds. Akarua Pinot Noir 2009 (5 Stars, $40), in the past called “Gullies”, is highly refined, with lovely richness and harmony.”

“Terrific wine in a classic Central Otago "fruit bomb" style with masses of dark cherry, plum and chocolate flavours plus a seasoning of spice and nutty oak. An "easy to love" style with a drop dead silken texture and lingering fruity finish...This is perhaps the best of a string of winning wines from a great Bannockburn vineyard.”

“Medium ruby-purple coloured, the 2009 Pinot Noir was matured in French oak barriques, 25% new. Presenting delicate red cherry, warm cranberry and forest floor aromas with a touch of cloves, this is a beautiful expression of Pinot with medium level tannins and crisp, refreshing acidity to support the elegant fruit. Medium to full bodied, the finish is long and berry-laced. Drink it now to 2015.”

Wine Orbit

Your Ultimate New Zealand Wine Review

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, September 2010

Akarua Pinot Noir 2009 Central Otago, 93 Points, 5 Stars

A beautifully refined Pinot displaying red/black cherry, plum and hints of game and cocoa characters on the nose. The palate is elegant yet concentrated showing silky texture and fine-grained tannins. A youthful and restrained wine with potential to blossom given time, as the wine is perfectly balanced and poised. At its best: 2011 to 2015. 14% Screw cap. Aug 2010.

“Think of everything you love about Central Otago, then double it.”


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