2014 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)

SKU #1228435 95 points Bob Campbell

 From an 11-ha pinot noir-dedicated vineyard in Wanaka that produced its first wine in 2012. Made using 20% whole bunch. Quite a concentrated pinot noir, with a very appealing and rather perfumed aroma. Cherry, plum, spice and anise fruit flavours. The wine has a wonderful purity. Quite Burgundian.  (2/2017)

93-94 points Raymond Chan

 Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full, powerful and well-concentrated with aromas of black cherry and berry fruit harmoniously entwined with dark herbs, spices, liquorice and subtle stalk and minerally whole bunch complexities. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with flavours of black cherries and dark red berry fruits, along with nuances of thyme herbs, whole bunch stalk elements and black minerals, with hints of reductive complexities. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction and soft acidity, and the wine follows a smooth-textured line that carries the flavours to a long. lingering finish of black cherry fruit and minerals. This is an elegantly concentrated, black cherry-fruited Pinot Noir with subtle whole cluster stalk and herbal complexities, and a smooth, finely structured mouthfeel. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 5-6+ years. A blend of 36% ‘Block F’ (clones 5, 115 and 667), 28% clone 5, 20% Abel and 16% 115, fermented with 20% whole bunches to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 5% new French oak.

93 points Sam Kim

 Warm, spicy and generously fruited, this immensely appealing Pinot is filled with dark plum, game and truffle characters with beautifully infused cedary oak notes. The palate delivers excellent fruit richness and supple mouthfeel, brilliantly framed by polished tannins. Long, harmonious and wonderfully expressive. At its best: now to 2019.

K&L Notes

**Update: the 2014 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir juts won its second consecutive Pure Elite Gold Medal at New Zealand's biggest wine show, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards!** 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 wines of amazing focus, purity and drive. The wines are fragrant, pure and have lovely restraint and minerality. The Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir is very deliberately made in a more accessible style, from a site that really has a tendency to make quite structured, coiled wines. The A2 is made from parcels of grapes specifically chosen for their purity of fruit, softness of tannin and earlier drinking potential. The wine is very aromatic with floral tones, ripe berries, plum, Asian spice, bay leaf, bitter sweet chocolate and a subtle lift of toasty French oak (only 10% new). The wine is softer and broader than the more "serious" structured "A1" bottling. Both are fantastic wines, but this one is certainly easier to read at this point in its evolution. This is a real crowd-pleaser with great richness and intensity--stunning Pinot not to be missed by any lover of the varietal. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Jacques Moreira | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/4/2016 | Send Email
Lifted aromatics, cherries, blueberries, a touch of cola, but also some earth and wet stone minerality. Very nice wine to pair with any sort of spicy food.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/31/2016 | Send Email
There is a multitude of specs below and above, so I'll give the short and sweet breakdown: There isn't a better at $25 in the store that will impress every person that takes a sip. This wine fires on all cylinders; the fruit, acidity, barrel character, and spices all shine as one. Simple delicious Pinot Noir.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/8/2016 | Send Email
Made from clones of Burgundian vines planted in Central Otago over a decade ago, the Akitu A2 Pinot Noir displays characteristics you just don't find at this price point often: Depth, complexity, freshness and character. Intense flavors of blackberries and raspberries are the focal point, while subtle spices and herbs frame the wine perfectly to create a food-friendly, utterly satisfying Pinot Noir experience. No question, awesome value!

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/29/2015 | Send Email
One of the sexiest New Zealand Pinots in the shop now. A rich, polished wine with dark fruits accented with a hint of oak, something woodsy and a healthy dose of minerality. This is the real deal. If you liked the 2013 you will love the '14.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/7/2015 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
Hands down in my top three wines for best value in the store. Truly classy, powerful, refined Pinot Noir is not easy to find. It is almost impossible to find under $30...but this stunner from Akitu delivers on all fronts. The fruit comes from one of the most exciting vineyard sites in Central Otago; a cold, north-facing slope just outside of Wanaka at the base of Mt. Baker. The vines toil to grow into hard schist soils, and winds off the snow-capped Southern Alps keep yields low and skins thick. This wine is both pure Pinot and a remarkable reflection of its tough terroir. It has inky concentration, purple, floral, lifted dark berry fruits, fresh ground winter spice, brambles, cold stone, winter moss. Complex, layered but expressive and emphatically speaking of its varietal and place. The 2014 is richer and more forward than last years iteration but still has a distinct character and limitless drive. Don't miss this, you seriously won't believe how good it is for the money.
Top Value!

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 14