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2018 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago

SKU #1498478 95 points Bob Campbell

Outer quote mark Bright red colour with purple tints. Complex spice, dried-herb and dark cherry aromas. Medium-bodied and beautifully balanced. This is a Central Otago Pinot with finesse. Lovely. (HH) Inner quote mark (11/2020)

93 points Sam Kim

Outer quote mark Offering sweet cherry, floral, clove, roasted nut and warm mushroom aromas, it’s beautifully rounded on the palate with supple texture and silky flow. Elegant and soothing with a lengthy savoury finish. At its best: now to 2025. Inner quote mark (2/2021)


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Price: $24.99

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By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2021 | Send Email
Andrew Donaldson is the definition of a Pinot Noir specialist--it is the only grape he grows on his family’s small vineyard estate in Lake Wanaka. He has spent an entire career mapping the distinctive blocks of his vineyard and has an encyclopedic knowledge of Pinot Noir clones, which he uses to hone his vineyard and produce absolutely stunning Pinot Noir. One whiff of its intoxicating aroma makes it clear that this wine is made from an outstanding site, by a winemaker who is a true master of their craft. And while his exceptional “A1” Pinot Noir is bigger, more tannic and built for the cellar, I was astounded by his more approachable and delicious “A2” Pinot Noir this vintage. Incredibly elegant, there is so much complexity and nuance. Cranberry, strawberry and red cherry notes intermingle with an edge of spice and notes of forest floor and mushroom. Bright acidity bursts through the palate’s light frame with ghostly tannins that seem to only crackle and reside on the finish. This is a Pinot Noir that takes time and slowly reveals its complexity in the glass as time unfolds. I’m tempted to make comparisons to top-end Sonoma Coast or Oregon Pinot Noir, but really this Pinot Noir is all its own. If you’re a Central Otago acolyte--this is one of the best A2’s I’ve seen in years. If you’re new to Pinot Noir from Central Otago--don’t miss out on this.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/24/2021 | Send Email
Back when I bought the New Zealand wines for K&L, Akitu was one of my favorite direct imports. This vineyard is truly special. Planted in a very cold site in the far western reaches of the Central Otago basin, close to the towering Southern Alps mountain range, these vines grow on the edge of viability. Often picking decisions are made by mother nature, after a few heavy nighttime frosts, the leaves turn orange, red, brown, fall off the vines, and it's time to pick! Below ground the vines also face challenges, this site is planted on almost solid schist bedrock with a very thin glacial and windblown layer on top. As with many great vineyards around the world, this adversity often produces the most dramatic and inspiring results. This is truly compelling and unique Pinot Noir that I implore you to try. It captures the wonderfully alluring lifted, floral aromatics of Pinot Noir, along with fresh, vibrant fruit with an intense core and ripe berry fruits, smoky spice, rosewater, crushed rock and spiced citrus peel. Drinking great now, but with plenty of concentration to last 5-10 years in the cellar.
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