2014 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Full, dark, deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on edge. This has a full and voluminous nose with ethereal aromas of ripe black berried fruit, black and violet floral perfumes, along with earthy and mineral elements, all harmoniously entwined with savoury, stalky whole bunch complexities. The aromatics are refined in expression, and unfold to reveal a concentrated heart. Medium-full bodied, the fruit is sweet and succulently ripe, with a tight core of black cherry and berry fruits integrated with liquorice elements, whole bunch stalk notes and ethereal violet florals. Very fine-grained tannins provide an elegantly proportioned structure and grip, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. Subtle and complex nuances of earth and minerals emerge to add detail and the wine leads to a long, succulently sweet, lingering finish. This is an elegant, tight and refined, black fruited Pinot Noir with richness, fine textures and whole bunch complexities. Match with wild pork, rabbit or hare over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 71% Abel, 17% clone 5 and 11% 115, fermented with 28% whole clusters to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 24% new French oak.
Multi-layered and impressively complex, the fragrant bouquet shows dark cherry, earthy mushroom, roasted nut and subtle dried herb characters. It is concentrated and silky on the palate, and offers velvety texture and fleshy mouthfeel. Tannins are beautifully melded and seamlessly woven to this gorgeous pinot. At its best: now to 2021.
** Update: 5/16 - Akitu "A1" just picked up the Trophies for best "Central Otago" and "Best NZ" Pinot at the IWC in London! Akitu is a stunning property in Central Otago with a small block of vines draped around the base of Mt. Baker near the town of Wanaka. It is located in one of the highest and coldest spots in the region; the vines grow into dense schist soils and the resulting Pinots are ones of amazing focus, purity, and drive. The wines are fragrant, pure, and have lovely restraint and minerality. The "A1" (Black Label) is the "premier" wine of the estate. It is made from fruit hand-selected from the mid-slope parcels planted to the "Abel Clone" of Pinot Noir. This clone was smuggled into NZ during the 1970s directly from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti "La Tâche" vineyard and is now one of the most sought-after clones in the country. This Pinot is deep and brooding with layers of dark bramble fruit, toasted spices, forest berries, cold stones, forest floor, and crushed rose petals. The wine is medium bodied as far as extraction, but very intense, full flavored and dynamic on the palate. There is plenty of tannin/acidity to make this a great cellar candidate/food wine. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L New Zealand Wine Buyer)