One of my favourite fizz of the year from Central Otago region on New Zealand's South Island. Delicious savoury rich traditional method fizz with pure exuberant fruit and a fine acid line - made from a classic blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from grapes grown aross Akarua's five vineyards on north-facing sites at 270m altitude in Bannockburn.
The base wine was fermented in both used oak barriques and tank with second fermentation in bottle and lees contact for 18 months - with 15% reserve wine. Made by Matt Connell, originally created by Akarua's consultant Dr Tony Jordan, the world's greatest fizz expert (who made sparkling wine for Chandon in Australia and Hunters in New Zealand), who sadly died earlier this year. Akarua winery was set up by Dr Clifford Skeggs in the mid 1990's and is run by his son David. They own 100 hectares planted in 1996 on sandy loam over schist in a stunning location in Bannockburn.
Grapes: 67% Chardonnay & 33% Pinot Noir
Price: @£23 Woodwinters, Edinburgh/Bridge of Allan/Inverness; Luvians, St Andrews & Cupar; NZ House of Wine; NZ Wine Cellar