Grape Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Growing Region: Central Otago, New Zealand
Chief Winemaker: Andrew Keenleyside

I have commented before - Andrew Keenleyside has been a key member at Akarua since 2009 when he joined as the assistant winemaker. Andrew was promoted to Chief Winemaker in September 2015, so played an influential role with this wine. The vineyard team describe their responsibility to capture the intensity of the Pinot Noir flavours at their optimum, and with each vintage comes a new set of exciting challenges.

 

If you read the back label looking for the source of the fruit which makes up this well-crafted Pinot Noir. You find reference to Bannockburn, but this does not tell the full story to the complexity and attention to detail which goes into crafting a wine of this quality.
From the Cairnmuir vineyard - parcels of fruit come from the following blocks: Kawarau 13, 10/5 clone, Clutha 5 and Southview (mixed clones), Clutha 6, Cairnmuir Rise 115 clone. From the vineyard saturated on Felton Road - parcels from Kofiua 5, with several clones: Kolo 777, Kolo 667 and Kolo 115.
The vines vary slightly in height, with an average elevation of around 270m above seas level and approximately 180 km’s as the crow flies to the nearest coast. Some vines are nearly 19 years of age, so with each new vintage they produce richer and more character filled berries. The vines which have a north-west aspect receive diligent canopy management, with the vine shoots thinned, hand leaf plucked and crop thinned before harvest.
As with all growing seasons in Central Otago another challenging vintage - but the regions unique climate with excellent diurnal temperature’s - and a cool drawn out finish to the growing cycle gave the fruit a long slow ripening, resulting in increased flavour intensity. The fruit went through pre-ferment maceration for about 5 days, to extract softer colours and flavours. Selected yeast was then added, and during vinification the cap was punched down twice daily, with a post fermentation maceration of 6 days. The wine was then transferred into French oak barrels for 10 months, with 30% being new, toasted medium-plus and sourced from, various coopers, though mostly Alliers & Vosges wood used.
In the glass you will be greeted by a deep, ruby red colour. On the nose, your senses will be enticed by mixed floral and fresh spice notes, with dark cherries and a subtle underlying earthiness starting to show. Even though early in development the palate is showcasing intense dark fruit flavours, with a fine texture and layered complexity entwined by fine tannins and the deft use of new and used oak. This 'Bannockburn' Pinot Noir is already expressing with justified confidence, engaging inviting dark cherries, wild dried herbs, palate breadth and an elegant lingering finish which this wine has become renown.
This 2014 Akarua 'Central Otago' Pinot Noir has 14% Alc. Decant well for 45-60 minutes and serve at 16-17°C. 

A complex Central Otago Pinot Noir with defined elegance.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
With decanting, enjoyable this season; and will age well for another 7-8 years. 

FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with duck breast or leg, lamb or pork cutlets, mushroom pasta, smoked salmon, earthy vegetarian cuisine and firm herb cheeses - enjoy.