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 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.)"
98 points, The Real Review (January 2019)
This is a collaboration wine between Burgundian Francois Millet and Prophet’s Rock’s Paul Pujol. It has a very attractive and ripe array of blackberries and blueberries with a fragrant, violet-like edge, too. The palate has a very central core of long, polished and succulent tannin and delivers a scintillatingly long, powerful and detailed impression of flavorful pinot noir. Spectacular.
98 points, jamessuckling.com (October 2019)
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.