2015 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)

SKU #1297213 93 points Sam Kim

 Ripe, complex and fragrant, the inviting bouquet shows dark berry, game, toasted almond and dried herb characters. The palate is juicy and rounded, and offers bright fruit flavours together with earthy mushroom undertones, wonderfully framed by fine tannins. Beautifully balanced and harmonious with attractive complex flavours. At its best: now to 2019.

91-92 points Raymond Chan

 Light, even ruby-red colour with slight garnet-purple hues, lighter on the rim. This has a softly concentrated and well-packed nose with aromas of savoury dark-red berry and black cherry fruit melded with dark herbs and notes of earth and black minerals, unveiling subtle and harmonious oak and whole bunch stalk detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a well-concentrated core of sweet dark-red and black berried fruit intermixed with dark herb and subtle whole bunch stalk elements, along with black mineral nuances. The extraction provides balanced, fine-gained tannins and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, balancing, lacy acidity. This has a good line, leading to a lush, lively finish od red and black fruits and subtle herb notes. This is a moderately concentrated, sweet, dark-fruited Pinot Noir with moderately extracted, supple tannins and fresh acidity. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years 70% Abel clone and 30% clone 5, the fruit fermented with 26% whole bunches to 13.81% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 22% new French oak. 230 dozen made.

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pale ruby colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir A1 offers pretty notes of kirsch, cranberry preserves and baking spices with hints of red roses, lavender and fallen leaves. Light to medium-bodied and elegantly crafted, the palate reveals perfumed sour cherry notes with a silken backbone and great freshness on the finish. (LPB)  (2/2017)

K&L Notes

93 points Cameron Douglas MS: "Soft core of ripe light red fruits led by sweet cherry, plum and raspberry suggestions, a an additional core component of mineral with quartz-like features, moderate oak and quite complex. On the palate - youthful texture with medium+ acidity, fine tannins and youthful sulphide action, flavours of red berry fruits and oak spice layers add to a lengthy finish."

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Varietal:

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.
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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.