Winemaker "We hand pick the fruit from Matthews Lane vineyard ensuring each parcel of fruit is in pristine condition. After a yeast starter the juice rests on yeast lees for 11 months in new 1,000L German Oak Fuder Barrels. The use of Fuder barrels in this way ensures our Single Vineyard white wines develop a greater complexity and refinement because oak doesn’t dominate. The ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less than smaller barrels so oak pick up is less. The staves of Fuder barrels are thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer and we find the fruit characters gain greater depth and complexity."
18 Points - Raymond Chan
We are delighted to introduce Akitu’s fourth vintage with production levels reaching a modest 430 cases, which translates to a little more for our customers. Their inaugural vintage (2012) produced a tiny 325 cases and sold-out within a matter of weeks.
18 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."
Those eagle eyed Decanter readers may have spotted the unprecedented score for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (August 2017 Edition).
The Marlborough producer, Auntsfield has been awarded a colossal 98 points for their 2016 single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, the same score awarded by Decanter for the 2016 Bordeaux En-Primeur’s – Chateaux Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Lalande & Figeac...
96 Points - James Suckling
One of the most complete and complex New Zealand chardonnays on release, this 2013 Bell Hill has beautifully judged reductive flintiness across grapefruit, peach and hazelnut aromas, not to mention lemon curd and wet stones. The palate's built around an arc of succulent and appealing acidity that draws concentrated fruit flavors in the lemon, grapefruit and peach spectrum long and even. A texturally flawless, great wine. Drink now to 2020+.
95 Points - Bob Campbell "Appealing aromatic pinot noir with cherry, violet, chalky mineral flavours together with a subtle seasoning of fresh herbs. Elegant wine with purity and poise."
94 Points - James Suckling "The Old Weka Pass Road pinot from the 2013 vintage is very much reflective of the same DNA seen in the Bell Hill bottling from the same vintage, but only a lighter and more transparent rendering. It delivers redder cherry-fruit aromas, and is quite fragrant and pure, but less of the darker fruits and swanky oak-derived overtones. The palate's fine, elegant and focused with a core of bright and crunchy red cherries. Quite elegant and refreshing. The texture is chalky, supported by tannins that hold a linear shape and an almost crunchy edge. Drink now to 2020."
94 Points - Bob Campbell MW
The first Bilancia Chardonnay I have tasted. Fruit from La Collina vineyard and Bridge Pa Triangle. Indigenous yeast and 15 months in oak without fining or cold stabilisation. Attractive, elegant chardonnay with tight citrus, mineral, struck flint and savoury yeast lees and spicy oak flavours. A classy chardonnay with development potential.
97 Points - Bob Campbell MW
From a low-yielding vineyard in the Waihopai Valley with clay-based soils and 17 year-old vines. 50% whole-bunches in the fermentation. Evocatively perfumed wine with savoury, fresh herb, violet, red rose, cherry and berry flavours supported by classy spicy oak. Dense and seamless with an impressively lengthy finish. Delicious wine.
17 Points - Julia Harding MW (JancisRobinson.com)
On the nose this has both the freshness of capsicum and the sweetness of green figs, neither under- nor over-ripe, as well as a light saltiness and a hint of passionfruit. On the palate it is mercifully dry with really good intensity and focus in a difficult vintage. It has both fruit weight and freshness and persistence and a long stony finish. Mouth-wateringly pure.
Bob Campbell MW
Delicately aromatic sauvignon blanc with wet stone, mineral, lime zest, gooseberry and subtle passionfruit flavours. A taut, linear wine in a bone-dry style with mouth-watering acidity. Impressive purity and drive
96+ points Stuart McCloskey “A fabulous mature nose of undergrowth, earth and balanced beautifully with a dash of spicy red fruits and rosehip, which could easily be interpreted as a high-class Burgundy. There’s lots to discover on the palate – time in the glass / decanter reveals a real depth and complexity rarely found at this price level. The palate is subtle, silky with a lovely sweet entry. Layers of fruit continue to build leading into blood orange, cranberry and a touch of warm spice. A beautiful wine with perfectly judged acidity and ultra-fine tannins. This is a model of pure sensitivity –simply, a faultless joy. Served using a Zalto Burgundy glass. Drinking window: Now to 2023”