Posted on 06.03.20 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: the brightest bubbles from Otago

I confess I am a bit fickle when it comes to sparkling rosé. Sometimes, I love it, other times I can find it a little too much – too fruity, too obvious, too blousy. So, when I find one that I love, it’s certainly a contender for wine of the week.

I’m still in New Zealand, on the stunning South Island, but I first encountered this sparkler on a dreary, cold January day in London, at the New Zealand annual trade tasting, and it shot straight into my Top 10 from the event (see my report here). What a joy to taste it in its natural surroundings amidst the savage beauty of Central Otago, at the excellent Akarua/Artisan cellar door and kitchen.

Akarua Rosé Sparkling NV Brut (£24 at Specialist Cellars – online, or in store at Pop Brixton – or a real bargain £17.99 on promo at Simply Wines Direct – online or in store in Pangbourne), is almost 70% Pinot Noir, with the remainder Chardonnay, to add finesse. The nose is a delight, with ripe strawberry and raspberry leading the charge, but there’s real complexity here too, with a wonderful puff pastry note and just a hint of savoury character to add additional interest. The finish is long, leaving you with an overwhelming sense of pure, bright, sunny Otago fruit. A natural pair with grilled prawns, or smoked salmon, this needs no accompaniment, as it’s just delicious as it comes.

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