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
98/100 Huon Hooke
"Deep red colour with a strong purple tint. The bouquet is fresh and vibrant and loaded with dark fruit aromas, cherry uppermost, spices and dried herb touches. Oak is apparent early but recedes into balance with exposure to the air. The palate opens with powerful flavour and marked acidity. A concentrated, powerful and beautifully poised wine with energy and vitality, intensity and complexity, great pinosity and drive, with ample tannins backing the flavour but not tough or aggressive as Bendigo tannins can be. The aftertaste is very persistent and harmonious. This is a great wine. I would place it alongside any Burgundy grand cru. Very, very impressive! (295 cases made.) 25 JAN 2019." Drink 2019 - 2034
17.5/20 JancisRobinson.com, Julia Harding (2016 vintage)
"Pinot Noir from Bendigo. Made by François Millet. Just 290 cases produced. Mid crimson – darker than most and still with a touch of blue. Seductively ripe but not overripe fruit with some sweet spice. Darkly fragrant on the first day, more red-fruited and open on the second. Rich and full on the palate, more concentration than many of the 2016s tasted earlier today but certainly no excess weight and plenty of freshness. The dark-red fruit on the finish is quite spicy, as if the spice were woven into the tannins. Very long and generous but firmly supple and fresh at the same time, the spice adding to the freshness. Needs longer than some, I would think. It had opened up on the second day to become much more expressive and red-fruited, especially when it was a bit cooler. Lovely dry and elegant finish. (JH)."
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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