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Featured Reviews




Akitu 2015 and 2016 ‘A2’, and 2016 ‘A1’ Central Otago Pinot Noirs

22 December,2017

Andrew Donaldson established the ‘Akitu’ Central Otago brand when he planted 40,000 vines over 6 clones in a 12 ha site in Maxwell Road, Mt Barker, near Wanaka, over 2002 and 2003. He released his first vintage with the 2012 wines, and his following releases have received immediate critical acclaim. The vineyard is tended by Steve Blackmore and the wines are made by P.J. Charteris at the nearby Maude facility. Here I have a re-look at the 2015 ‘A2’ Pinot Noir, from a cooler vintage, and the 2016 ‘A2’ and ‘A1’ Pinot Noirs. 2016 is deemed a very good vintage with "a clean, healthy crop” and wines between the elegance of the 2015s and power of the 2014s. www.akitu.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Akitu ‘ ‘A2’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

17.5/20

Garnet-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge with a touch of bricking. This has a fulsome and robust nose with good depth and concentration of savoury dark-red berry fruit entwined with dried herbs, undergrowth and game notes, and some whole bunch stalk elements. This shows secondary complexities unfolding with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has fulsome and lively fruit flavours of savoury dark-red cherry and berry fruit with a layering of dried herbs, undergrowth and game notes. The mouthfeel is lively with brisk acidity and has underlying alcoholic power. The fruit is supported by light, grainy, tannin extraction and structure, lending robustness and grip. The wine carries to a savoury, textured finish. This is a fulsome and robust Pinot Noir with savoury secondary flavours of red fruits, dried herbs and undergrowth with plenty of grip. Match with mushroom dishes and game meat over the next 3-4 years. 61% Abel clone with 39% clone 5, the fruit fermented to 13.84% alc. with 31% whole bunches, the wine aged 10 months in 13% new French oak. 550 dozen made. 17.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $39.90

Light ruby-red colour with some depth and slight purple hues, paler edged. The nose is fresh and elegant with fragrant aromas of red cherry fruit entwined with fresh thyme herbs and delicate notes of whole bunch stalk elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is lively and fresh with brisk acidity enlivening the fruit flavours of red cherries and red florals. The fruit has a degree of sweetness and lusciousness. Notes of fresh herbs and whole cluster stalk nuances add detail, and the palate us underlined by light, fine-grained tannin extraction. Some alcoholic power carries the wine to a light, nuanced finish of red cherries and florals. This is a fresh and lively, red cherry-fruited Pinot Noir with subtle floral, herb and stalk nuances and light, supple tannins. Serve with salmon and tuna, and poultry dishes over the next 4 years. 61% Abel clone with 39% clone 5, the fruit fermented to 13.84% alc. with 31% whole bunches, the wine aged 10 months in 13% new French oak. 550 dozen made. 17.5-/20 Oct 2016 RRP $39.90

Akitu ‘A2’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18/20

Moderately deep, light ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is softly fresh with bright and elegantly expressed aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit unfolding vibrant dark-red floral notes along with fresh herbs and subtle whole bunch stalk elements. This is even and with good depth and intensity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright and elegantly concentrated flavours of dark-red cherry fruit with lifted red florals and subtle fresh herb and stalk notes. The fruit is supported by finem powdery tannin extraction with soft, lacy acidity. The fruit sweetness is enlivened by the acidity and the wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish. This is an elegant, finely concentrated Pinot Noir with dark-red cherry fruit, with floral and herb notes, on a refreshing palate. Match with poultry, pork and beef dishes over the next 4-5+ years. 32% clone 5, 26% 115, 18% 777, 15% 667 and 9% Abel, fermented with 27% whole bunches and the remainder as whole berries to 14.3% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 12% new French oak. 1,035 dozen made. 18.0/20 Dec 2017 RRP $39.90

Akitu ‘A1’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18.5/20

Even ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose has very good depth of ripe dark-red cherry and berry fruit with suggestions of plums and liquorice and subtle dark herb elements, unfolding red florals and spices. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and lusciously vibrant fruit flavours of dark-red cherry fruit with plums and liquorice, lifted florals and hints of herbs. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated core with fine-grained tannin structure and integrated acidity, the palate showing drive and linearity. The wine has excellent vitality and carries to a long and sustained finish. This is a rich and elegantly concentrated Pinot Noir with dark cherry fruit with florals and subtle herb notes on a fine-textured palate with drive and line. Match with poultry, pork, beef and lamb dishes over the next 6-7 years. 68% Abel clone, 16% 5, and 16% 777, fermented with 40% whole bunches and the remainder as whole berries to 14.3% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 40% new French oak. 730 dozen made. 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $59.90

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