Akarua ‘25 Steps’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Growing Region: Pisa, Central Otago - New Zealand
Head Winemaker: Andrew Keenleyside
4 Stars ★★★★
I cannot believe that it has been a year since I was last down at Akarua in Central Otago - having lunch at their Kitchen-Restaurant talking about this new Pinot Noir, that had just been released. Well a year on and this new label for Akarua, is celebrating and showcasing the fruit from the stunning ‘25 Step Vineyard’ in the sub-region of Pisa which is the source for this single vineyard Pinot Noir.
Using is a classic colloquial saying in New Zealand - the growing season during this vintage was a game of two halves, but the resulting fruit came into the winery in excellent physiological condition and packed with varietal character.
The clean bunches underwent a pre-fermentation cold soak for 5 days before going through a controlled vinification in stainless steel tank with a mix of wild and selected yeasts. Once fermented dry the wine was then carefully transferred into seasoned oak barriques for around 10 months of maturation before blending and bottling in February - where it rested in the winery for a period before release.
The vines for this 2018 vintage had reached 17 years of age, and for those in the know, this is a dynamic maturity stage (15-20 years of age) in the depth of flavour you start to see in Pinot Noir vine. And this wine reflects this and showcases what a positive future this vineyard and Akarua Pinot Noir has.
• In your glass you will be greeted by a vibrant deep red with a crimson hue. On the nose your will be enticed by ripe red cherries, cranberries, small wild red plums dried herbs and subtle mountain bramble notes. These vibrant and lifted summer berry fruits carry through on to the bright palate which is infused with fine mineral seam and varietal acidity. The palate has an appealing textural character showcasing all of those ripe red fruits, with a deft hint of vanilla oak all wrapped in fine tannins and balanced acidity giving the wine a vibrancy and a lingering Pinot Noir finish.
This 2018 Akarua ’25 Steps’ Central Otago Pinot Noir has 14% Alc./vol. I would encourage mild decanting of around 30-45 minutes and serve in an appropriate wine glass at 16 - 17°C.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 15/08/20)
With mild decanting drinking well this season: and will age well for another 4 - 5 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with lamb or pork cutlets with a cherry sauce, duck breast, mildly seasoned pizza’s and pasta dishes, earthy vegetarian cuisine and pâté on toast - enjoy.