Cuvée Nicolas François is made from solely Grand Cru fruit sourced from the classified Côte des Blancs vineyards (Chardonnay) and the Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir). Its vinification, partially in traditional oak casks, underpins the generous character of this fine, elegant and rich wine. The balance of a tension controlled by the blossoming of the wine (preserved peaches, fine apple tart and lemon verbana tea) and embodied by the line of noble flavours (fresh figs and exceptional teas). It maintains a consistency reflecting a distinct personality and retains a power controlled by a well integrated low dosage.
Decanter World Wine Awards: Gold 2017
International Wine & Spirit Competition: Gold 2017
Gold Medal – 2017 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships
Trophy Best Sparkling- 2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards
Trophy Best Sparkling White - 2018 Sydney Royal Wine Show
96 points & James Halliday's annual Top 100 wines 2018
17 Points - Julia Harding MW "Fine yeasty/biscuity nose but there’s also a mineral/stony character that comes through. Creamy texture, lemon cream and so much bight freshness with orange zest on the finish. Delicious: complex and still so fresh."
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."
97+ - Stuart McCloskey "We thought the 2013 was something special, however the 2014 could well go down as one of the greatest ‘young’ Pinot Noirs to ever pass our lips. The ’14 is blessed with an incredibly intense, powerful nose - the perfume is extraordinary, almost exotic. Although young, the palate is showing beautiful structure, filigree tannins and is utterly sensuous. This is an irresistible Campbell Ranch, a little fatter and more generous than the previous two vintages. Effortless, mercurial and brilliant."
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."
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.
97 Points - James Halliday "The vineyard was planted in '94 to clones 114 and 115, believed to have mutated into a single 'Sangreal' clone. Always made with 50-70% whole bunches, and 60-70% new oak maturation for 18 months. While the power of the wine is typical Farr, this vintage bestows a measure of linearity, a sinuous line to the palate that links and loops around the complex flavours of forest floor/spice and wild strawberry."
Chanin's 2014 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard is gracious, aromatic and nicely lifted, all signatures of the sandy soils on this site. The fruit is forward and juicy, with just a dollop of whole clusters that adds balance and intrigue.
93 Points - Jeb Dunnuck (erobertparker.com) "Plums, passion fruit, spring flowers and hints of violet all emerge from the silky, beautifully polished 2014 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard, which comes from very sandy soils located just outside of Los Alamos. It spent 12 months in a tiny 12% of new French oak. Medium-bodied and exceedingly elegant, with beautifully polished tannin, it should evolve nicely for a decade."
The 2015 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is bold and racy, but also shows a good bit of freshness. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, mint, violet and sweet spices are front and center. Pliant and ripe, but with good supporting energy, the 2015 is all about balance.