Cuvee Aux Antipodes by Prophet’s Rock Chardonnay 2020
2020 was a cool vintage in the region. High natural acids. This was the year that Lake Wanaka actually flooded the town due to the huge amounts of rain. Due to the rainfall it created alot of snow, so temperatures were alot lower than normal so vines just bunkered down and didn’t want to flower. Quality was very good due to the reduced number of bunches per vine. Jan and Feb was actually good weather so end result was a great wine, albeit tiny amounts. Yield was very low, under 20.5 hect/hct.
Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed. Combined pressing and free run pre ferment. Settled, racked off heavy lees before going into barrel. Primary ferment went through fine, but due to the cold temperatures it took a long time to go through malolactic. Wine spent 22 months in barrel. No battonage. Racked off to tank 6 months before bottling. The one new barrel out of the 9 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.
Paul and Francois reminded me that this extended elevage is definitely ab-normal for this wine (2019 was as long as 30 months), an anomaly due to the cold conditions. Also for those of you wondering how much Francois was involved due to being unable to travel to New Zealand for the past 2 years courtesy of COVID Paul sends samples of both the Blanc and Pinot Noir every 4 to 6 weeks back to Burgundy for Francois to review and then discuss with Paul.
François Millet notes – “This wine is the reflect of the Clutha river flowing just below, mineral, transparent and luminous. There is nothing exotic, “artificial” or “made up” about the expression of this wine. That shows again the link between what is emanating from the land, the feeling you have from it and the expression of the wines. Often is the Chardonnay the spirit of the land, the Pinot Noir coming from the same place being the body”
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