Akarua Cadence Pinot Noir 2006 (Central Otago, NZ)
$NZ40, Screwcap, 14%
New Central Otago Pinot producers seem to be popping up at an amazing pace of late. I'm all for it, however keeping track of the labels can be quite a challenging experience, particularly given that the asking prices start at $AUS40, and distribution is usually taken care of by niche wholesalers (which lessens the opportunities to taste at trade events).
This bottle, however, was purchased at an Auckland bottleshop, and the winery itself has somewhat of a proud history, with the 2002 vintage of this wine winning 'wine of show' at the 2003 Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The 2006, however, comes from a much more challenging vintage in Otago, which really shows here.
A truly bright, mauve/purple/dark fuschia (not my word, but excellent, colour chart worthy stuff) colour, this looks very appealing in the glass. On the nose it has ripe cherries, musk & pepper, mixed with a little sweaty funk. The palate starts with a hit of ripe, musky fruit, but then falls away dramatically, the mid palate full of holes, with alcohol heat the only resounding element of the back end, the 14% alcohol making its presence well known.
So this slightly harsh & warm Pinot simply reminds that Central Otago is a marginal wine region, and Pinot Noir is a bitch of a variety. This 06 is current release, but I would be holding off for the much more favourably framed 07 vintage wine. 15.0