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. Akarua was re-introduced after many years to Liberty Wines by Tony Jordan, who makes 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 convinced of the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz for quite a while, and is now doing so with Akarua.
All fruit was sourced from the Akarua Estate vineyards in Central Otago. The vines are 21 years old and grow at an average of 270 metres above sea level with a north-western aspect. Soils are young alluvial, schist based sandy/silt and sandy loams overlaying schist rock.
The 2019 vintage in Central Otago was characterised by cool and settled conditions which resulted in long, gentle development of flavour and physiological ripeness. Good rainfall at the beginning of the season replenished water reserves in the soil and sustained the vines through the summer and the grapes harvested were of excellent quality.
Grapes for the Rua were cold-soaked for five days before fermentation commenced and the cap was punched down twice daily. The wine was given another six days on the skins post fermentation to provide the tannic backbone it requires. It then spent six months ageing in 100% French oak barriques, of which 10% were new. The result is a remarkably attractive - and great value - Pinot Noir from Central Otago.
100% Pinot Noir.
This Pinot Noir has a bright cherry-red colour in the glass and lifted floral aromas with bright notes of red fruit. On the palate, this well-defined Central Otago Pinot Noir exhibits red berries, savoury characters and a touch of spice. Supple tannins complement the wine's acidity leading to a long finish.