Wine of the week: New Zealand’s finest “white” pinot noir

Act without delay to secure this enchanting Kiwi white – there is nothing like it on earth

2021 Akitu Pinot Noir Blanc

2021 Akitu, Pinot Noir Blanc, Lake Wanaka, Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand

£28.12,; coming soon to,,

Akitu was established in Lake Wanaka two decades ago by Andrew Donaldson. Andrew planted 12 hectares of pinot noir, and his two red wines, A1 and A2, have climbed swiftly to the higher echelons of the New Zealand pinot ladder.

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The latest red wine releases, 2019 Akitu A2 Pinot Noir (about £33, from the four stockists listed) and 2019 Akitu A1 Pinot Noir (about £43, ditto) are the finest yet from this elite estate. Showing refinement and unshakable integrity, while A2 is designed for relatively early drinking, I feel that 2019 A1 is set to be a superstar given five more years in the cellar.

But, this week, I have a less predictable treat for you – New Zealand’s finest “white” pinot noir, and only 270 cases were made, so you must act without delay to secure stock. With the faintest of pink hues, this will be labelled a rosé by many, and it certainly possesses the most enchanting cherry-skin perfume, but Andrew is insistent it is a white wine made from swiftly crushed pinot noir grapes.

There is an inevitable, albeit very faint skin influence, and this slight colouration baffles the senses, but it is genuinely white-shaped on the palate. Keen-edged with acidity underpinning the beguiling fruit and oak and lees both playing subtle supporting work, the dramatic terroir shines through with laser accuracy, and it is this setting that you are drinking. I urge you to taste this wine – there is nothing like it on earth.

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.