The 2002 Central Otago Pinot Noir vintage was a great success at the time. Big, bold, well-ripened fruit and forward, pleasing natures. These wines would and did give immediate pleasure. The very knowledgeable felt they were up-front wonders and that they would fade quickly as the acidities were not high enough. Interestingly, as time has gone on, many commentators have had to eat their words. The fruit character has stayed remarkably fresh. The structures only softening a little, and certainly no fading of acidity. They are in essence as big and bold, and as sweet as they’ve ever been.
The Wine Bunny brought along her special bottle. It was the 2002 Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir from Bannockburn fruit. The wine won some good awards, Champion at ANZWA and No. 1 in Cuisine. She thought it would be a keeper, so she put away a good supply. But I believe it keeps on surprising her each time she broaches a bottle from her not inconsequential stocks. This bottle still dark ruby-red. On nose classical ripe Pinot Noir, with dark red berries and plums. Even a touch of florality too. Who mentioned violets? And of course those thyme herbs. On palate rich, sweet, bold and vigorous, but still in pretty good shape and proportion. Good underlying tannins, the softer, but true acidity of the vintage, and only the beginnings of secondary development. We reckoned it was not even half-way in its life. Sometimes these riper vintages are the best?