Cuvée aux Antipodes Pinot Noir is the extraordinary result of a collaboration between two winemakers, Paul Pujol of Central Otago's Prophet's Rock, and François Millet of Burgundy's Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüè in the village of Chambolle-Musigny. It began when Pujol worked the vintage at de Vogüé in 2009. The two men became friends and François’ son Julien worked at Prophet’s Rock in 2013.
Millet himself also visited Prophet's Rock in 2013 and the idea for Cuvée aux Antipodes was born. He returned for the inaugural 2015 vintage and selected a small parcel of grapes from the highest part of Prophet's Rock Home Vineyard, at 400m one of the highest sites in Central Otago. ‘Any higher and it’s too cold’, says Pujol.
Millet goes to Central Otago twice a year and personally oversees both vinification and bottling. ‘He digs out the tank, he plunges it once, I send him bottles of wine so he can follow its progress’, says Pujol. Racking is done using a special air pump which Millet brought from France. The wine is very lightly extracted during fermentation and spends 17 months in barrel, longer than other Prophet’s Rock wines.
The annual make is slightly less than 300 dozen, of which the Australian allocation is about 30 dozen each year.
Deep, bright color; very fragrant, lifted, superripe black cherries, almost overripe. Delicious flavor, soft and accessible, with depth, power, intensity, but also refinement and charm. Unusual for this sub-region. (293 cases made).
97 points,The Real Review (April 2017)
Deep red/purple colour, bright and fresh, the bouquet explodes with crushed raspberry perfumes, fragrant herbs and violets as well, and is fruit-driven and very complex. In the mouth, it's intense and medium-bodied, with considerable power and drive, and is loaded with charm. A most impressive, and really delightful, first effort. (A collaboration with François Millet of Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé of Burgundy) 13.5% alc.
96 points,The Real Review (February 2017)
Some air delivers a ripe array of dark cherries and red plums with a gently meaty, reductive edge and background spice. Smoothly arranged palate, stoically reserved texture and a good wrap of tannins through the finish.
93 points, Nick Stock (October 2018)
Made from a section of the vineyard that's planted to Dijon clone 777, the 2015 Cuvee aux Antipodes Pinot Noir was selected by and is made to the specifications of François Millet, the winemaker at Domaine Comte de Vogué in Chambolle-Musigny. It shows some rose-like aromas, savory notes of dusty earth, and dark cherry and blueberry fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, silky in texture and ends with a bit of oaky spice. Completely destemmed, it aged in 30% new French oak.
92 points, Joe Czerwinski (March 2018)
Central Otago, located at the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand, is the world’s most southerly wine region. In a short amount of time, the area has established itself as a world-class region for Pinot Noir. The picturesque region is surrounded by mountains ensuring a cool semi-continental climate that experiences a large diurnal range contributing to the creation of intensely concentrated wines with perfume, and complexity. Central Otago’s vineyard area is divided into six distinct sub regions each with their own climate and wine style. Best known for producing intensely Fruity medium to full bodied Pinot Noir, Central Otago’s cool climate also produces outstanding Riesling as well as superb bottle-fermented Sparkling wines.