Akitu - Press Comments

Central Otago, New Zealand

Akitu

Akitu Pinot Noir Blanc 2019

“An attractive floral Character on the nose, and zippy acidity with good freshness and lift. Drink 2021-2023.” 90 points

Tina Gellie, Decanter ‘Wines of the year 2020’
February 2021

“Pale pink in colour, this is fine and aromatic, quite a punchy red fruit nose, and yet there is a light earthiness and yeastiness, something a little ozoney too, In the mouth crisp and crunchy, a bracing green apple twang of acidity against cool, tart raspberry and peach or apricot skins, that little hint of phenolics, and a long, very focused finish.” 90 points

Tom Cannavan, Wine Pages
November 2020

“Very pale pink in colour, this is a textured wine with some sweet cherries and mandarins, with a lemony brightness. Fruity and appealing with some fine spicy notes. Has some stony notes on the finish.” 89 points

Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak
August 2020

“Covering the wine rainbow, this is Akitu’s first attempt to make a white wine from a red grape variety. The result is super pale with a hint of pink, betraying the base material. To avoid picking up colour, the grapes were harvested and pressed when cold to avoid any unwanted hue. In style it is fulsome, offering richness in the mouth that you find in a red Pinot but it remains delicate with fine mouthwatering acidity. Delicate flavours of strawberry and citrus on the clean finish.” 91 points

Rebecca Gibb MW, rebeccagibb.com
June 2020

Akitu ‘A1’ Pinot Noir 2018

“Fabulously perfumed, real complexity and aromatic layering here, the core of sweet and pulpy red fruits, plenty of clove and cardomom spice, vanilla, those sweet truffle and beetrooty notes too in a very arresting picture. Lovely juiciness and firmness on the palate, with a stripe of tannin and a dry, tangy olive and cherry bite to the acidity, but the fruit stays sweet through the mid-palate, the texture builds as the chalkiness of the tannins smooth the finish, the fruit and acid precision and brightness is excellent. A beautiful wine, which PJ expects to have at least 10 years of cellaring potential.” 94 points

Tom Cannavan, Wine Pages
19th November 2020

“Considering the heat of this vintage, this has turned out really well. This is taut and aromatic with fresh, vivid cherry and raspberry fruit. The palate has a lovely energy, showing bright, elegant red and black cherry fruit with a silky texture: there’s some finesse and a fine herbal quality sitting under the fruit. There’s a lovely fruit quality here, but it
blends so beautifully with the more savoury, structural elements.” 95 points

Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak
September 2020

“Fresh, youthful and fruit centric bouquet with aromas of fresh raspberry and dark cherry, sweet oak and spices to match a toasty barrel scent. Youthful and quietly complex. Tense, youthful and dry on the palate with a firm and youthful texture, chalky tannins and ripe almost sweet acid line. Flavours of fruits and spices reflect the nose. Length youthful finish, well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2028.” 95 points

Cameron Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
September 2020

“Heady intensity on the nose insinuates dry oak leaf and cherry skin, an edge of peony too. There is concentration and a gorgeously aromatic sense of Morello within the ripe, red cherry fruit. The texture is firm and comes without any heaviness. Gorgeous elegance, exquisite structure. Wonderfully aromatic fruit veering gloriously into velvet territory.”

Anne Krebiehl MW, The Buyer
August 2020

“Estate-grown 380 metres above sea level at Mt Barker, in the Wanaka sub-region, the barrel-aged 2018 vintage is a very elegant red, full of youthful drive. Ruby hued, mouth-filling and sweet-fruited, it is silky and savoury, with cherryish, spicy, nutty flavours, showing excellent poise and complexity. Best drinking 2022+. This wine is a classic.” 5 stars

Michael Cooper, New Zealand Wines – Buyers Guide

Akitu ‘A1’ Pinot Noir 2017

“From Wanaka, this has a pale but quite dense colour. There’s a definite herbal edge to this, quite meaty and earthy, the fruit more in the background. Lovely palate, the balance shows through, with fine, dry cranberry and red currant fruit, lovely elegant tannins and a refreshing acidity. Beautifully done. Various stockists have this, mostly in-bond.” 93 points

Tom Cannavan, wine-pages.com
May 2020

“Immediately intriguing bouquet with aromas of sweet oak and forest flowers, wild berries and cherry, a moment of green tea and dried herbs then stony minerality. Complex, fruity and dry on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose. Firm tannins remind this wine is still young, but the core of fruit and sweet oak and toasty wood make it immediately approachable today. Fine dusty texture on the lengthy finish. Best from 2022 through 2030.” 95 points

Cam Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
September 2020

“An initial, peppery lift immediately spells freshness. As some smokiness wears off, there is that hint of white pepper and that herbal savour of rain-wet rose hedge. The palate shines with tart redcurrant purity and tingles with spice at every swish of its slender body. The finish has grip and vivid freshness. Gorgeous.”

Anne Krebiehl MW, the-buyer.net
September 2019

“Bold nose, hints of liqueur fruits soften to cherry and darker fruits, while oak scents, smoke and savoury notes build too. Powerful cherry and raspberry lead the bright and youthful palate, added complexity offered by hints of liquorice and dried herbs. Complexity and interest, a little toffee oak popping up, while the herb element courses through the long and beguiling finish.”

Mark Henderson, Otago Daily Times
August 2019

“Akitu’s 2017 Pinot Noir A1 starts off with intoxicating scents of roses, dried spices and tea-like nuance. A blend of four clones (mainly Abel and 777, with smaller portions of 5 and 115), it offers rich, deep, plummy fruit on the medium to full-bodied palate yet remains silky and airy in feel, ending with hints of dried herbs on the long, elegant finish. The 40% whole clusters and 20% new French oak are both enjoyable components in this complex, appealing wine.” 93 points

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
31st July 2019

“A richly scented bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of dark berries, wood spices, wild thyme and a core of savoury complexity. Plum and dark cherry, black currant and wild flowers, stony, rocky outcrop minerality. Youthful, tense , firm and focused textures on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose – dark berries then wood spices, some wild thyme and undergrowth moments. Youthful tannins and acid line. Lengthy finish, dry, well made, youthful. Best from 2021 through 2029.” 94 points

Cam Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
6th June 2019

“A challenging year, but this 40% whole-bunch (the rest being whole berries) Pinot Noir has loads of Far-Eastern spice to complement rich, dark black fruits. Fantastic acidity keeps everything in perfect harmony. Plenty of ageing potential, clearly showing the direction in which top Otago Pinot Noirs are headed.” 95 points

Andy Howard MW, Decanter
1st June 2019

“How sensual and seductive and intoxicatingly aromatic this wine is, will have you weak at the knees and struggling to form a sentence with every sip. Soaring with rosehip and rooibos tea, cherry, dark plum and mysterious red-fruit saturation that’ll send you into an exotic swoon in seconds flat. The tannins are in this little bottle of wickedness from Wanaka are taut, tantalising and unleash just enough ‘prickle’ to the gums to keep you guessing where the textures are going to go. Gorgeous stuff.”

Yvonne Lorkin, Dish Magazine
April 2019

“This Pinot lures you in and spits you out. There’s plenty of intensity but it’s not heavy. Showcasing the coolness of the vintage, there’s a herbal twang alongside the dark fruit; the fleshy Central style is counterbalanced by the vintage’s buzzy bright acidity allowing a precise and compact conclusion.” 90 points

Rebecca Gibb MW, rebeccagibb.com
January 2019

Akitu ‘A1’ Pinot Noir 2016

“Subtle cherry notes on the nose. The palate is a lovely expression of unforced balance, an interplay between aromatic, ripe fruit and bracing freshness with a lovely savoury glint. Nothing is overdone here: just 25% of the oak was new, while 40% whole-bunch gives backbone and structure alongside the freshness.”

Anne Krebiehl MW, Decanter
7th October 2018

New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy and overall New Zealand Red Wine Trophy at the IWC 2018 – “Delightful, harmonious, elegant Pinot with complex flavours of a savoury, dark fruit, leafy notes and hints of smoky oak. Delicious; still in its youth. Vibrant, youthful wine with all to play for.” 96 points

International Wine Challenge 2018

“Akitu’s flagship black label wine shows more concentration than the regular label and more backbone. It has bright cherry, red rose, raspberry, herb and sappy, spicy flavours. 40% whole bunches in fermentation. A youthful and firmly-structured wine that should develop well with bottle age. Drink 2018 to 2024.” 93 points

Bob Campbell, 
21st December 2017

Akitu ‘A2’ Pinot Noir 2018

“The family resemblance to the big brother A1 is umissable here, that same wild and delightful perfume running the gamut from pot-pourri spice to summer berries to hints of truffle. In the mouth deliciously sweet and giving; a generous wine with ripe and supple red fruits filling the mid-palate, and the tannins a little softer and more creamy than the A1 at this stage, absolutely pin-sharp acidity though, and those subtle, gentle spices and vanilla rounding the finish. Drink now while waiting for the A1. It’s irresistable. No retail stockists listed at time of review, so price and stockist is for the previous vintage.” 92 points

Tom Cannavan, Wine Pages
19th November 2020

“Pale-ish sherry red in colour, this is bright, aromatic and textured with nice silky cherry and raspberry fruit with some real elegance. There’s a sweetness to the fruit, which has some dried herb and spice notes. Floral and supple with a nice graininess on the finish. This is so drinkable, and there’s some structure to boot with fine-grained structure. Light, very approachable, fresh and very drinkable. Benefits from a decant, which really opens up the structure.” 94 points

Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak
September 2020

“A core of ripe red cherry and dried raspberry then some plum and mountain thyme savoury scents. An enticing complexity. Very youthful on the palate with a tense and taut structure from firm tannins with a chalky, grainy drive. Plenty of acidity then flavours of fresh berries and sweet wood spices. Youthful still requiring the perfect food match or cellar time. Best from 2022 through 2030+.” 94 points

Cam Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
September 2020

“Lovely smooth nose, already imbued with that gorgeous, slightly autumnal earthiness. Translucent, fresh, smooth with beautiful freshness. Its earthy aromatic cloud goes beyond fruit, with silky structure and an unforced, ripe smoothness. This is ripe and juicy, almost mellow, but still light on its feet.”

Anne Krebiehl MW, The Buyer
August 2020

“Grown at high altitude at Mt Barker, in the Wanaka sub-region, the 2018 vintage (4.5*) was designed as a ‘highly drinkable wine of unthinkable quality’. Matured in French oak casks, it is a bright ruby, attractively scented red with strong, ripe, cherryish, spicy, nutty flavours, fresh acidity and loads of drink-young charm. Best drinking 2022+.” 4.5stars

Michael Cooper, New Zealand Wines – Buyers Guide

Akitu ‘A2’ Pinot Noir 2017

“The core of fruit is immediate and drives the bouquet with aromas of dark berries, plum and forest spices, sweet toasty French barrel and a crushed rock minerality. Fabulous on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Spicy wood, firm chalky tannins, dried herb and wildflowers. Lengthy finish. Still young and needs your cellar. Ready
from 2022 through 2030+.” 95 points

Cam Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
September 2020

“Mainly (two-thirds) Clone 777, the 2017 Pinot Noir A2 includes almost one-fourth whole clusters and one-eighth new French oak. Floral-herbal-stemmy notes still mark the nose, but in a sexy, good-kinky sort of way, adding fragrance to deeper notes of dark cherry and plum. It’s medium to full-bodied on the palate, with a silky but firm base of tannins and a lingering, slightly tart finish.” 91 points

Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
31st July 2019

Varietal, youthfully vibrant and fruity bouquet with aromas of raspberries and dark cherries, red apples and savoury mineral combinations. Some spicy new oak suggestions add complexity. Equally vibrant and youthful on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose, abundant fruit and oak tannins. Acidity and oak adding additional texture and spark. A wine to enjoy today if decanted, otherwise best from 2020 through 2026. 94 points

Cam Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
3rd March 2019

“On the eve of its release, this Pinot offered a freshly embrace that maintains its structure with its taut line of cool-season acidity that sings through the wine. Expect a slight herbal element to the aromatic fruit.” 89 points

Rebecca Gibb MW, rebeccagibb.com
January 2019

Akitu ‘A2’ Pinot Noir 2016

Gold Medal at the IWC 2018 – ‘Serious, structured Pinot, cherry and strawberry notes with firm, fine tannins and intense fruit. Give it time!” 96 points

International Wine Challenge 2018

“Tasted alongside the previous vintage, this is a richer and riper pinot noir with bright cherry, violet and raspberry jube flavours. The wine has an ethereal texture and a lengthy finish. Drink 2018 to 2022.” 91 points

Bob Campbell, 
21st December 2017