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Akarua Pinot Noir

Central Otago


The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north facing site in Bannockburn...

Planted in 1996, this 50 hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. While we’ve known Akarua for many years, we came to them this time around through Tony Jordan, who is making their Sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and is one of the world’s leading experts in sparkling wine production. He has been enamoured with the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz for quite a while, and is now doing so with Akarua. We’re delighted to be taking on these wines as we think they are among the very best in Central Otago.

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All the Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from Akarua‘s 50 hectare site on Cairnmuir Road in Bannockburn, which lies at 270 metres above sea level. The soil here is young alluvial schist based sandy/silt and sandy loams overlaying schist rock. Vines are 15 years old.

Vintage information

A warm spring and a moderate summer were followed by an autumn with good diurnal temperature range for flavour development. Average temperatures in 2012 were slightly lower than those in 2011. Fruit was hand picked between the 28th of March and 3rd of May.


Pre-fermentation maceration took place over five days, with fermentation peaking at 31°C. Punch downs took place twice daily and post fermentation maceration lasted six days. The wine spent 10 months in French barriques, 30% of which were new.

Tasting Notes

Deep red, bright ruby colour. The nose displays intense black fruit flavours and the complexity that Bannockburn Pinot Noir is renowned for, with haunting aromatics of bramble fruits and spice. The palate is finely balanced with red fruits and finely textured tannins. A slightly cooler vintage has resulted in a wine with great poise and longevity.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Central Otago
Winemaker Matt Connell
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 5g/l
Residual Sugar 1g/l
Wine pH 3.67