Back in 2009 Paul Pujol went to do vintage at De Vogüé in Burgundy, with François Millet. Later, in 2013, Paul took François’ son as an intern, and François and his wife visited Central Otago. Since then, they have struck up a friendship and made a wine together from the Prophet’s Rock vineyard, called Cuvée Aux Antipodes, with 2015 as the debut vintage.
Today I visited Prophet’s Rock to taste the latest vintage and interview them about this project, which has taken an interesting new turn with the addition of a Chardonnay, from the 2018 vintage. Here is the interview, where they talk about this collaboration:
Prophet’s Rock Cuvée Aux Antipodes 2017 Central Otago, New Zealand
Gravelly, slightly chalky edge to the brooding, sweet black fruits. Lovely concentration and intensity here: sweetly fruited with dense blackberry and black cherry with a slight reductive edge. There’s astonishing volume and amplitude here, with good structure and acidity. Still so primary with amazing fruit, structure and acidity. Grippy tannins but they work so well in the context of the wine. Such a drive and energy here. 96/100
Prophet’s Rock Cuvée Aux Antipodes Blanc 2018 (barrel sample)
Chardonnay from a leased hectare of vines in Pisa, which were planted in 2004. They took it over in 2017, and in 2018 took a crop after letting it come back for a year. 6 barrels made, one new, and the oak is from Troncais, which Francois says is very interesting for Chardonnay. Racked post malo in the same way he racks the Pinot Noir by hand from a low racking bung with the fine lees. Lovely concentration and precision this wine with meal, bread and citrus, with some peachy richness. Lively and intense with good acidity. Has depth of fruit with the oak in the background. Lovely concentration and intensity here: serious effort. ‘The acidity is not too obvious: it is there to give the freshness, but it doesn’t have too much strength,’ says François. ‘There is respect between the freshness and the fruit, and there is no heaviness.’ 94-95/100