Akarua’s cracker pinot

The Akarua vineyards in Central Otago. (Photo: Akarua Wines)

Friday’s newsletter is groaning with great value AUD $35 pinot noirs – two of them!

Akarua is owned by the Skeggs family, and currently has 100 hectares of vines, a massive spread for this region.

In addition to the Giant Steps 2018 mentioned in a previous post, Akarua’s 2017 Rua Pinot Noir, an AUD $35 entry-level wine from this under-sung but outstanding Central Otago winery, won three trophies including champion wine of show at the just completed 2019 Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC), a show I chaired and judged for many years but no longer have a connection with. Akarua’s regular pinot noir is well-known to me, and has won the trophy for best pinot noir at the Six Nations Wine Challenge not once but twice in recent years. But the first-rung-on-the-ladder Rua label had never impressed me all that much in the past – so I scrambled to find a sample.

Result? A cracker of a pinot!

The colour is deep (for a pinot), bright and the bouquet very fragrant with dark cherry and spice aromas tumbling out of the glass. The wine has all the depth and succulence that has come to be synonymous with Central Otago pinot, but without any heaviness from alcohol, excessive oak or clumsy tannins. It’s a fine, almost ethereal wine, not overbuilt in any way, and utterly delicious to drink now.

Akarua is owned by the Skeggs family, and currently has 100 hectares of vines, a massive spread for this region.

For the record, it won the Joy Lake Memorial Championship Perpetual Trophy for the champion wine of the show, and trophies for best red wine and best pinot noir at the SIWC. The SIWC is a rare competition in that all of the top wines are judged alongside appropriate food.

For the full SIWC results, click here.

Akarua is distributed in NSW by Vinous.

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