Back in 2009 Central Otago winemaker 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. This is just the fifth release and already it has reached almost legendary status in wine circles.
Winery notes (2019 Vintage)
"The Cuvée Aux Antipodes is the meeting of two winemakers, Paul Pujol and Francois Millet from the two hemispheres. The Old and the New World seemingly so distant, join here in a human and winemaking adventure with a common passion for Pinot Noir and the beauty of its terroirs.
The grapes were sourced from our Home Vineyard which is located on a high-elevation, steep glacial terrace in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago. This stunning site has clay and pedogenic lime soil, featuring schist and quartz."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"The memorable 2018 vintage is estate-grown at an elevated (320-400 metres above sea level) site at Bendigo, it is deep ruby, with a highly fragrant, savoury bouquet. An authoritative wine, it is weighty, fresh and finely structured, with ripe cherry, plum and spice flavours, showing notable density, complexity and harmony. Built for a long life, it’s already delicious."
Rated Outstanding & 97/100 Cameron Douglas MS, March 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Complex, detailed and captivating bouquet of Pinot Noir – aromas and flavours of red fruits and wood spices – a seamless connection to earth & mineral layers. The texture is tense and very youthful – all locked up and not quite ready to reveal – but the quiver of spice and tannins with acidity and a core of fruit shows what’s to come. The wine is also very pretty with a rose and perfume scent, some wild dried herb and spice. Decant for service if you can’t wait. Best drinking from 2021 through 2027+."
96/100 James Suckling (2018 Vintage)
"A collaboration wine between Burgundian Francois Millet and Prophet’s Rock’s Paul Pujol. This makes a very harmonious impression on the nose with red cherries, spice, hazelnuts, red florals, fresh tobacco and light earthy nuances. The palate has a very neatly coiled and layered feel with tannins that unfurl and lift the finish. Red-cherry and pastry flavours are delivered in vibrant mode. Some blueberries, too. Drink or hold."
5 Stars & 98/100 Huon Hooke, The Real Review (2017 Vintage)
"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!"
96/100 Jamie Goode (2017 Vintage)
"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."
94/100 Rebecca Gibb MW, January 2019 (2017 Vintage)
"This collaboration between Burgundy's Francois Millet and Prophet's Rock has produced a gorgeously fragrant expression. While delicate, it is densely concentrated exuding a ripe essence of blackberries and raspberry coulis. The extraction regime is very gentle -just one punch over a day at most leading to wonderfully supple tannins and a chalky texture on the conclusion."