Cuvee Aux Antipodes by Prophet’s Rock Chardonnay 2021


Low, low yields in 2021, just 7.6 hect/hct. More of a typical vintage in Otago but Paul describes a ‘hangover’ from the 2020 vintage ie due to the “4 horseman of the apocalypse of rain, wind, snow and hail the vines weren’t back up to full steam, so again a lower yield. A patchy summer, with rain. Good February and early March which really helped the vintage. Very stable temperatures across these two months.

The 2021 is the forth release from this partnership between Francois Millet & Paul Pujol. The 2021 feels a little more like the 2018, perhaps more delicate than the 2019 and 2020. Paul recommends a decent for this vintage. 2021 was actually bottled before the 2020, due the 2020 still being in tank/going through malo, awaiting Francois’s green light to bottle.

The site itself called Kopuwai Delta vineyard is across from the Home Vineyard in Pisa (the opposite side of the valley to Bendigo). 1 hectare of Chardonnay was planted in 2004 then an additional 0.7 hectare block in 2016 totalling 1.7 hectares that Prophet’s Rock manage.
The vineyard itself is on a flat terrace at the bottom of these slopes on the western bank of the valley. A mixed of Schist from the mountains behind and river stone/fine gravel from the alluvial wash on the valley floor. 225 meters elevation.

Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed. Combined pressing and free run pre ferment. Settled, racked off heavy lees before going into barrel. Primary ferment finished by Spring. Wine spent 17 months in barrel. No battonage. Racked off fine lees after summer (10 months), then a second winter in barrel (7 months), total 17 months elevage.

Racked into tank for one month before bottling. The one new barrel (15% of total blend) out of the 6 barrels used was Remond (Troncais forest) in Ladoix Serrangy, Medium toast. Same barrel as Francois would use for the Musigny Blanc at Comte de Vogue.

Dense and quite concentrated chardonnay with grapefruit, oyster shell, hazelnut, bran biscuit, vanilla and spicy oak flavours. Seamless, integrated wine that is more vinous than fruity with an appealing savoury edge. – 96 Points – Bob Campbell – RealReview

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Region: New Zealand, Central Otago  

Categories: White, Chardonnay

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