The Cuvee Aux Antipodes is a collaboration between Burgundy Winemaker Francois Millet (who makes the legendary Comtes de Vogüé wines) and Prophet's Rock in Central Otago. Established in 1999, Prophet’s Rock has become one of New Zealand’s most consistent boutique producers. The name comes from Central Otago’s goldmining pioneers (a physical landmark on a local claim), and the winery has retained an intensely local focus on its original vineyards and terroir - and the varieties that thrive there. Longtime winemaker Paul Pujol carried this ethic back from early work with legendary producers in France, especially in Burgundy, and with Maison Kuentz-Bas in Alsace. Prophet’s Rock maintain deep values of sustainable vineyard management as well as a very European sensibility, allowing wines to express each vintage. While capturing beautiful varietal expression, they pursue in each wine the less obvious - but more satisfying and food orientated - virtues of vinous texture, balance, complexity, and length. In doing so they can achieve an understated depth, harmony, and sometimes extreme age-worthiness that is highly unusual in New Zealand. Their home block is on an elevated site in Bendigo, with the ‘second’ vineyard Rocky Point in Southern Bendigo, on a steep site above lake Dunstan.
What The Critics Say
93/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski
"The 2016 Cuvee aux Antipodes Pinot Noir comes from the same parcel of vines as the 2015 and was made in essentially the same way. Yet it shows more tautness, tension and juiciness. It displays floral notes on the nose, then raspberry and cherry fruit. Medium to full-bodied, it's silky in texture but crisp, with some firm tannins on the finish. Give it until 2020. -- Proprietor-winemaker Paul Pujols has emerged as one of Central Otago's latest stars, based out of the estate vineyards in the Bendigo subregion. The first plantings in 1999-2000 consisted of seven hectares of Pinot Noir and a half hectare of Pinot Gris. The Rocky Point vineyard, planted in 2004, added 16 hectares of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. From 2000-2002, Pujols worked at Kuentz-Bas in Alsace, which informed his attitudes toward Pinot Gris and Riesling. He's also spent time at Domaine Comte de Vogué in Chambolle-Musigny. The winemaker there, François Millet, now makes a Pinot Noir under the Prophet's Rock label. The Cuvée aux Antipodes comes from a small portion of the home vineyard. "I was looking for a parcel that showed more minerality, elegance and freshness," said Millet, as we tasted the wines overlooking the vineyard. "What excites me about a wine is when I see something that's unique to the site, not winemaking influence"." Drink 2020 - 2028
16.5/20 Jancis Robinson MW (2015 vintage)
"Wild and almost like a sweet herbal infusion. Not as refreshing as the 2013 regular Pinot from this estate. Dominant spiciness. Made by Francois Millet of de Vogüé in Chambolle-Musigny with all the same equipment as back home." Drink 2018 - 2024
Caro's Blog (2015 vintage)
"It is not heavily coloured in the glass, just a slightly translucent ruby. Wonderfully delicate and precise aromatics have no overbearing characters – clean, introverted notes of minerals and florals seem merely touched by red fruit and subtle earthy licorice (this latter note was called a ‘tea-leaf’ by another taster, probably green tea rather than black). The foremost impression is the clean and refreshing smell of a wet landscape with a mere spicing of exotic earth. Somewhere in the background of these limpid, open and unassuming aromas is a whiff of red fruit, fresh-cut and delicately bright. The taste is instantly silky and mouth-filling, but very gentle. The characters on the nose become more palpable on the palate, but no less delicate, leading down a charming and “long road” to a vastly open and nuanced finish where perfectly integrated red fruit, spiced earth, mineral acidity and chalky tannins feel cut from one endless roll of fine cloth... Open and subtle effects on the end palate continue long after one’s conversation has started again – fruit and wet mineral impressions in phases, then unfolding warmed earth and licorice, then wet minerals again"
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