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