Media Reviews / Awards

Akarua Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

  • Gold Medal

    THIS WINE HAS BEEN AWARDED...

    Gold Medal

    Double Gold/ Runner Up - FIve Nations Wine Challenge 2011
    Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2010
    New Zealand International Wine Show 2010

  • Cuisine Magazine

    THIS WINE HAS BEEN AWARDED...

    Cuisine Magazine

    4 1/2 Stars, Top 12 New Zealand Pinot Noir

Estate-grown at Bannockburn, the 2009 vintage was picked at 25 brix from 13 year old vines, matured in French oak barriques (36% new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Deeply coloured, it is fleshy, generous and savoury, in a notably ripe style, highly fragrant, with substantial body and highly concentrated cherry, plum and spice flavours. Powerful and very sweet-fruited, it should blossom with cellaring.

An attractive, ripe and spicy purple-fruited Bannockburn pinot noir, with pretty assertive oak adding toasty spices, and some meaty complexity here too. The palate’s flowing, full and supple – very ripe and easy – with neat tannins and a forward, Drink-now appeal.

(18.5+/20), aged 10 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Dark, deep ruby-red in colour with a lighter edge, this has a very full, dense nose of ripe black cherry and berry fruits with hints of black plums and oak spices. On palate very full, rich and warm, with ripe black berry fruits, and layers of violets and plums unfolding in the glass. This is a wine with power, depth and concentration, very much a statement wine that has excellent tannin structure and grip behind the explosive fruit. Some alcohol heat shows, but is in style with the expression. This will evolve over the next 6-8 years.

"Central Otago isn't just New Zealand's southernmost wine region - it is the world's most southerly wine region. Grapes do love a challenge, and the harder you can push them and the more extreme the conditions, the greater the reward. I was fortunate to taste some of this reward in this Reserve Pinot Noir. Vibrant black cherry, dark fruit and earth, with veins of savoury meat crisscrossing mineral and herbs. Bright acid and firm tannins over deeply seeded sweet spice, most likely resulting from time in French barriques. Full of finesse and motion, but retaining Pinot's grace".

"A brilliant rich ruby red colour, showing a little more depth than its sibling, this has a very inviting voluptuous aroma of smoky savoury oak with a hint of game and bittersweet red fruits. A full bodied pinot in the best possible way, it's spicy and savoury with silk-edged velvety tannins, juicy red and black fruits and a succulent and savoury finish that leaves a powerful impression. I am not at all surprised that this has won three gold medals in New Zealand in the 2010 - 2011 wine show season because it has a textural vibrancy as the spice infused flavours linger".

Winemaker Matt Connell makes a selection of his best barrels for this reserve wine, the Bannockburn fruit delivering a weight 14.7% alcohol in this vintage. It is sumptuous stuff, the limpid, rippling pool of velvety black fruit disrupted by little floral notes, some beetroot and rhubarb vegatility and a swirling smokiness of oak. On the palate this is super sweet and ripe, but it's not sugar that's doing it, it's all fruit: dense, mocha-touched plum and blackberry, with super-silky tannins and lovely acidity, and that seamless smokiness of the oak. A massive wine, and yet it wears it very elegantly indeed. 94/100. 

“Previously labeled ‘Cadence’, this deeply coloured, single vineyard red is beautifully ripe and rich, with substantial body, highly concentrated cherry, plum and spice flavours, and good backbone. Very sweet-fruited, it should blossom with cellaring; open 2012 +”

“The 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir is a fuller, richer style than the straight Pinot… Medium ruby-purple in color, it gives intense black cherry and raspberry aromas with some forest floor, moss and a touch of lavender… Drink now it now to 2015”

“Dubbed the Versailles of the line-up because everything is on a grand scale using classic forms. Its rich, extravagant dark fruit (black cherry, boysenberry), hints of oak spice and velvety tannins were unanimously appreciated. Winemaker Matt Connell is obviously warming to his new gig at Akarua. Give it a few years in the cellar and it will really hit its straps.”

“Akarua Reserve Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (5 stars)…is fleshy,generous and savoury, in a notably ripe style with lovely fragrance.”

“Akarua Reserve Pinot Noir 2009; 16+ Lots of refreshing acidity but intensity and purpose here. Youthful…Impressive purity of fruit.”

“Akarua established their reputation as a top pinot noir producer in the excellent 2002 vintage. This Bannockburn winery has to continue to make good drops in subsequent vintages but appears to have reached a new quality high in 2009. Intriguing wine with layers of concentrated plum, dark cherry, spice and oak flavours. Sweet fruit suggests a fruit-bomb style, yet it has enough structure and complexity to avoid that stereotype. Rich and mellow with an impressively long finish.”

Wine Orbit

Your Ultimate New Zealand Wine Review

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, September 2010

Akarua Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 Central Otago, 95 Points, 5 Stars

From their estate vineyard in the Bannockburn district, this outstanding young Pinot displays lovely perfumed bouquet of red/black cherry, floral, cedar and spice. The palate is seductive and beautifully textured with fine, chalky tannins. The flavours are beautifully woven to show a seamless mouthfeel and an extra-long finish. The wine is youthful and yet to show its full glory, but with further time in the bottle it should turn into a breathtaking beauty. At its best: 2011 to 2017. 14.7% Screw cap. www.akarua.com. Aug 2010.

“From their estate vineyard in the Bannockburn district, this outstanding young Pinot displays lovely perfumed bouquet of red / black cherry, floral, cedar and spice. The palate is seductive and beautifully textured with fine, chalky tannins. The flavours are beautifully woven to show a seamless mouthfeel and an extra-long finish. The wine is youthful and yet to show its full glory, but with further time in the bottle it should turn into a breathtaking beauty. At its best; 2011 to 2017.”

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