So, this is nothing if not quirky and rare, a still white wine from New Zealand made entirely from Pinot Noir… gosh, it’s utterly, completely beguiling. Akitu is one of Central Otago’s finest Pinot Noir producers, as anyone who’s tried their A1 and A2 expressions will know.
An initial touch of pear drop soon dissipates to reveal ripe citrus zest and fresh red apple flesh along with creamy notions of yeast. This yeasty notion carries right onto the palate where it is subsumed into a lovely, rich texture that is packaged in a precise and taut body. This is an unusual Pinot but a compelling one, with a hint of spice and tons of freshness on the finish. 92 Points
2021 Akitu Pinot Noir Blanc
Blending and Tasting Notes
Clones: 100% Block A 777
Volume: 2,425 litres – 270 x 12b cases equivalent
Technical: Alcohol 14.2%, TA 6.5g/l
Harvest Dates: 7th April 2021
Bottling Date: 20th August 2021
Brassy, rose-gold with a faint green hue and a platinum fleck, mica-like shimmer catches the eye.
Lots happening on the nose: dusty river rock minerality, rose petals, Turkish delight, slight wild herbs, and a hint of sourdough mother but more brioche than that. There is a risqué bouquet of rouge compact and red-hot lipstick entwined with ripe golden queen peaches and musk sticks. It’s evocative and multi-dimensional, so many layers evolving and changing as it readies itself in the glass.
The intensity on the palate impresses and it moves you in another direction: dry and savoury but full of textural depth. The interplay between acid and phenolics reminds you of that attribute in fine Nebbiolo, that leads to complex florals, particularly roses but some cherry blossom adding sedimentary depth. You cannot escape the musk, with a hint of cinnamon apricot kernel. The finish is long and dry with a distinctive crunch on the exit. It’s edgy yet resolved, exciting yet calm, almost like the grip of a sea anemone on your finger.
Food: It is simply delicious on its own. However, a winner when paired with a slab of Stewart Island Salmon, smoked on toast with a dab of caviar - perhaps kedgeree for the second course.