Media Reviews / Awards

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013

Wine NZ, one of New Zealand’s largest wine magazines have included a fantastic write up on Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 for their Autumn issue.  Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 was selected as the number one Pinot Noir for their Autumn tasting.  

Wine NZ is one of the leading wine information sources, promoting wineries, wines and travel to wine regions throughout New Zealand.

Bob Campbell recently conducted a tasting for our wine portfolio. Several were selected for his highest ranking accolade, a Gold Ribbon.

The results were as follows:

Akarua Vintage Brut 2010

Gold Ribbon, 96 Points and 5 stars

A Pinot Noir dominant blend with Chardonnay that has spent three years on the lees. Weighty, textural wine with zesty acidity adding freshness and energy. This is a serious sparkler with attractive bready yeast autolysis complementing citrus fruit flavours. Lengthy wine with a bone-dry finish.

Akarua Pinot Rosé 2014

Gold Ribbon, 95 Points, 5 stars

“Pretty Rose with charming strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavours enhanced by a creamy texture. A hint of sweetness is fruity rather than sugary. The wine has a seductively lingering finish. Very attractive Rose indeed”

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013

Gold Ribbon, 95 Points, 5 stars

“A classic fruit bomb style with ripe plum, black cherry, vanilla and liquorice flavours. Big, flavoursome wine with a featherbed texture and enough support from ripe tannins to prevent any suggestion of jamminess”.

Akarua The Siren 2012

Gold Ribbon, 96 Points, 5 stars

“Only 185 cases made. 100% de-stemmed bunches (30% whole-bunch the following year) and a very light filtration has helped produce a dense, flavoursome Pinot Noir. I noted red and black cherry, spice/thyme, plum, violet and spicy French oak characters but i suspect the wine will offer even greater complexity in time. Elegance on a grand scale. Powerful wine showing a great deal of finesse”

Bob Campbell, the second New Zealander and is just one of 300 people in the world to hold the Master of Wine qualification. He is widely regarded as New Zealand’s foremost educator.

Wine writer Michael Cooper has just released his buyers guide for 2016. 

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 has received 5 stars and the following review...

Michael Coopers Buyers Guide, 2016

5 stars
“Estate-grown, picked from 16-year-old vines, matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (30 per cent new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered, the 2013 vintage (5 stars) is deep and youthful in colour. Fresh, concentrated and supple, it is a beautifully perfumed, highly refined style with vibrant, plummy, spicy flavours, showing excellent complexity and harmony, lots of drink-young charm, and good cellaring potential.”

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews (online), December 2016

5 stars

“Clone 10/5, 115 and mixed clones from the ‘Akarua’ estate, given 5 days pre-ferment maceration and fermented with 10% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 30% new French oak barriques.  Full, dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance.  This has a full, harmoniously interwoven bouquet of rich, ripe dark-red and black berried fruits, dried thyme herbs, and lifted black and violet florals, revealing a little oak spice and shine.  The aromatic array and detail grows in volume with aeration and seems complete.  Medium-full bodied, the fruit is rich and succulent, expressed with plushness, showing ripe black and dark-red berry fruits with oft notes of plums, entwined with thyme herbs and florals.  The mouthfeel is very fine-featured, the fruit sweetness balanced by fine-grained tannin extraction and integrated acidity.  The flavours flow seamlessly along a detailed and layered, complete finish.  This is a beautifully rich and succulent, ripe, dark-fruited Pinot Noir with an array of flavour detail and a harmonious, fine-grained, complete mouthfeel.  Match with pork, lamb and beef over the next 5-6+ years.  19.0+/20  Dec 2015  RRP $42.00”

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 was awarded Double Gold at the 2015 6 Nations Wine Challenge.

The 6 Nations Wine Challenge is the only competition in the world where wines come in exclusively by invitation only.

“Because the wines are all selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world”.  Bob Campbell MW.

The objective of the challenge is to discover Champion Wines across the globe. The challenging countries are Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America.

This is the third year that Akarua has won an award at this special competition. In 2011, the previously referred to 5 Nations Wine Challenge awarded Gold to Akarua Pinot Noir 2009 and Double Gold to Akarua Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 (Runner up for Trophy). In 2012, Akarua Pinot Noir 2010 was awarded the coveted Red Wine of Show Pinot Noir Trophy.

There are few wineries that could boast of winning the Champion Pinot Noir Trophy two years in a row at the New Zealand International Wine Show 2015 – however that is just what Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 did.

With six gold medals and two trophies in the bag; our Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 may be destined to break all records.

The judges’ comments summed up this delicate wine beautifully….

“Charismatically aromatic, sultry, smoky and savoury with delicate chocolate-coated cherries and silky tannins, it’s beautifully refined with a spicy brightness and a generous plush velvety flow”

It certainly has been an excellent week for Akarua Pinot Noir 2013.

GOLD has been awarded to Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 at the Decanter Asia World Wine Awards (DAWA) 2015 in China.

This is the sixth GOLD medal awarded to Akarua along with the New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir Trophy from the New Zealand International Wine Show 2014.

Now in its fourth year, the DAWA is Asia’s leading and most trusted wine competition. Judged by Asia’s top wine experts, the DAWA is trusted for its rigorous judging process.

GOLD medals were awarded to AKARUA Pinot Noir 2013 and RUA Pinot Noir 2014.

The New Zealand International Wine Show is the largest wine competition in New Zealand.

For 2015, 2,103 wines were entered and only 221 of those were awarded GOLD. Pinot Noir was awarded just 25 Golds, with Akarua holding two GOLD medals for both their icon and entry level pinot noir.

The judging took place from the 7th – 9th September, and was chaired by Bob Campbell MW with assistant Chief Judges Larry McKenna, John Hancock and Kym Milne MW.

Akarua are delighted to announce their recent results at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2015. GOLD was awarded to Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 and Vintage Brut 2010.

Akarua vineyard manager Mark Naismith, who is currently attending the Romeo Bragato Conference in Hawkes Bay this week, was thrilled with the results.

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 has already been awarded four GOLD medals and the Negociants New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show 2014.

Winestate Magazine held a recent Pinot Noir tasting in July 2015. 

Out of the 169 Pinot Noir's tasted, Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 was awarded 5 stars. 

Full tasting notes will be published in Winestate's November/December issue 2015. 

Dish magazine held a recent Pinot Noir panel tasting for which 155 wines were blind tasted under strict competition conditions. 

The judges panel consisted of six judges - Yvonne Lorkin, James Rowan, Cameron Douglas MS, Jane Boyle, Chloe Parkinson and Ric Little. 

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 was awarded at '1st' place, positioning it as No 1 out of the Top 12 Pinot Noir's tasted. 

5 stars 

Judges' Comments: "This wine makes an immediate impression. Saturated with dark berries, ripe cherry and oodles of fresh spice, "..fleshy, pure, silky and very long", noted Sam, while Yvonne was wowed by its bright core of fruit, elegant leggy acidity, bold sinewy tannins and succulence on the finish. Matt Connell has created a stand-out wine, this Central Otago stunner is a must-try". 

The Pinot Noir tasting results will be published in the August-September issue. On sale 27th July. 

Winestate, Central Otago tasting, June 2015

5 stars

“Deeply coloured, rich and sweet-fruited red in a bold style. Complex bouquet, with rich fruit aromas mingled with French oak (30% new). Concentrated, well-structured palate with fine-grained tannins. Very age worthy”.

Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas held a tasting for The Shout NZ/Hospitality Business magazine, June edition 2015.  

Our newest vintages of Pinot Noir; including our icon Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 and entry level RUA Pinot Noir 2014 were highly rated.

Our Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 was awarded 5 stars;

“Complex, youthful and seductive bouquet with lots of oak soaked red fruit aromas; dark cherry and blackcurrant; spicy new oak and gentle older oak layers. On the palate – dry, firm, fruity and full of youthful energy, a wine destined for the cellar if you can wait 2-3 years it will reward; a lovely core fruit, medium + fine tannins and long finish.”

Our entry level RUA Pinot Noir 2014 was also rated 4.5 stars.

“Rich fruit centred bouquet with a mix of soil, medium + wood spice and red velvet rose highlights. On the palate – lots of pinosity with dark red cherry fruits and raspberry, medium + tannins and acidity adding lots of poise and tension and a long fruit filled finish. Very nice wine

"New Zealand is hardly a recent discovery for most Pinot Noir fans, but this year’s competition further reinforced the breadth and consistency on offer here, with Akarua proving yet another name to watch.

Produced in the Bannockburn sub-region of Pinot Noir stronghold Central Otago, this wine comes from four different vineyard blocks planted on schist-based soil and retails for around £20.

Although the first vines were planted here by the Skeggs family back in 1996, there has been considerable expansion since then. 2008 marked a major restructuring programme, including the appointment of winemaker Matt Connell, and Akarau is now busy stepping up its export focus."

The Drinks Business, 15th May 2015

Gourmet Wine Traveller, Feb/March 2015

Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 is a regional highlight. There’s brambly cherry, raspberry and red plum fruit, as well as gentle spice and freshly clipped herbs. It is ripe and alluring with smooth and creamy texture, and red fruit flavours abound. Tannins have fine-grained appeal and the balance is good with oak perfectly supportive”.

We are delighted in achieving fantastic results at the 2015 China Wine & Spirits competition! We received double golds for Akarua Pinot Noir 2011, Akarua Pinot Noir 2013, Rose Brut NV and Brut NV.

Akarua distributes to both Shanghai and Hong Kong, therefore receiving such high results is a massive benefit for our Chinese customers and distributors!

The CWSA (China Wine & Spirits Awards) is the biggest & most prestigious wine & spirits competition in China. ALL 100 the Judges are carefully selected for being the top BUYERS of wines and spirits for this market and are importers, distributors, retailers and sommeliers’. Wines and spirits enter from 35 countries and are ‘blind tasted’.

For Chinese distribution please contact:

Ruby Red Fine Wine, info@rubyred.com.cn (Shanghai)

Platinum Group Ltd, justin@winestore.com.hk (Hong Kong)

We are delighted in achieving fantastic results at the 2015 China Wine & Spirits competition! We received double golds for Akarua Pinot Noir 2011, Akarua Pinot Noir 2013, Rose Brut NV and Brut NV.

Akarua distributes to both Shanghai and Hong Kong, therefore receiving such high results is a massive benefit for our Chinese customers and distributors!

The CWSA (China Wine & Spirits Awards) is the biggest & most prestigious wine & spirits competition in China. ALL 100 the Judges are carefully selected for being the top BUYERS of wines and spirits for this market and are importers, distributors, retailers and sommeliers’. Wines and spirits enter from 35 countries and are ‘blind tasted’.

For Chinese distribution please contact:

Ruby Red Fine Wine, info@rubyred.com.cn (Shanghai)

Platinum Group Ltd, justin@winestore.com.hk (Hong Kong)

Estate-grown, matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (30 per cent new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered, the 2013 vintage (5 Stars) is deep and youthful in colour. Fresh, concentrated and supple, it is a beautifully perfumed, highly refined style with vibrant, plummy, spicy flavours, showing excellent complexity and harmony, lots of drink-young charm, and good potential

A busy and exciting year for Akarua has finished on the right note with three pure gold medals at the 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The results of the awards were announced today to the public. Akarua received three pure gold's for their Akarua Pinot Noir 2013, Akarua RUA Pinot Noir 2013 and one for their sparkling wines, Akarua Vintage Brut 2010.

Winemaker Matt Connell is delighted with the results.

"It is great for our team to be recognised at this prestigious show. It has been a particularly busy year for us with the purchase of two new vineyards and preparing for a much larger vintage because of this, so to win three gold medals is a fantastic achievement" he said.

"The Air New Zealand Wine Awards have such resonance with consumers and the profile of the awards is also recognised internationally, it's a great lead in to the Christmas season" he said.

Akarua's varietal focus is on their Pinot Noir's and Sparkling Wine programme. The Akarua Pinot Noir 2013, Akarua RUA Pinot Noir 2013 and Akarua Vintage Brut 2010 were awarded gold.

Matt is looking forward to celebrating the wins at the Awards dinner in Hawkes bay on the 22nd November

Akarua has followed up a fantastic year by winning the Negociants New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir Trophy at the New Zealand International Wine Show, at a gala dinner held on Saturday night (September 27) in Auckland. 

Akarua winery, located in the outstanding Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago, picked up the coveted Pinot Noir trophy with their Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 (RRP $42).

The Show took place from the 8th to the 10th September and was chaired by Bob Campbell MW, New Zealand’s most experienced senior wine judge and this country’s leading wine educator. Assistant chief judges were Larry McKenna, Peter Cowley and John Hancock.

There were 14 wines awarded gold medals in the pinot noir category in this year’s competition with 10 golds’ awarded to wines from Central Otago and the remaining 4 from Marlborough. Of the 14 gold’s awarded 11 were from the 2013 vintage. Akarua also collected a gold medal for its current 2012 vintage Pinot Noir which takes its tally to 5 gold medals.

Matt Connell, Akarua winemaker was there to collect the award.

“We were up against some great wines in this category, many from Central Otago, so I am delighted that we have been acknowledged with the trophy tonight” he said.

“The 2013 vintage is drinking well – the style is soft and beguiling with ripe berry fruit flavours, velvety texture and a generous length. With increasing vineyard maturity our Akarua wines are showing greater complexity and completeness.” 

It has been a significant year for Akarua with many notable accolades including trophies for their sparkling wines; Akarua Rose Brut won the Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy at the Spiegelau International Wine Competition and the Akarua Vintage Brut 2010 was awarded World Champion NZ Sparkling Wine Trophy at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. In August this year they also announced a major vineyard purchase with the acquisition of vineyards located on Felton Road and in Lowburn which has boosted their total vineyard area to 100 hectares in Central Otago.

Matt Connell said that he was hugely excited by the opportunity that the purchase of these vineyards provides the team to continue the legacy of making outstanding wines under the Akarua brand.

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