Prophet's Rock's new Pinot Noirs: the Musigny Grand Cru connection

Hi from Anto,

Bendigo and Burgundy – the connection is closer than you might think, with the recent collaboration between legendary Musigny producer Comte Georges de Vogue and Prophet's Rock.

I can't remember being this excited about a new Pinot Noir release as I am about this one from Prophet's Rock. And the good news (from Prophet's Rock's point of view) is that there's a far bigger name than mine also taking a close interest in the quality of their Pinot Noir!

Francoise Millet is the winemaker at Domaine Comte Georges de Vogues, one of Burgundy and the world's most legendary wine estates. With Grand Cru vineyard holdings that are quite literally priceless, including their most famous holding, 7.2 hectares that make up the majority of the fabled vineyard, Musigny (wines from which sell for well over $1000/bottle). When Millet visited NZ, he was so taken with Prophet's Rock Pinot Noir that he invited Paul Pujol to join him for the 2009 vintage. What Paul learnt while working on these famous Grand Crus has been transformative for Prophet's Rock wines…particularly these two I'm offering today.

At de Vogue, the legendary Musigny isn't plunged at all while it is fermenting (something unheard of in NZ winemaking circles, where 3 x daily is normal) – they simply give the grape must a little mix to keep the cap wet. Millet believes this gives a wine that is truer to its site, which is of course the holy grail of Pinot Noir. Paul started to experiment with less extraction in 2010, incorporating 20% un-plunged and gradually increasing it. By 2013 he was convinced – and this 2013 Home Block Pinot Noir is the first one that was made completely plunger-free!

It also happens to be – in this writer's humble opinion – the finest wine they have yet made. I vividly remember the first time I tasted it in September last year. Having just finished a glass of the 2012 vintage (excellent as usual), I poured myself a 2013… The result was nothing short of an epiphany. One of the most memorable glasses of Pinot Noir I can recall. The supple tannin structure and the lovely silky power of the wine was astonishing, and I have been counting the days until its release ever since.

The release of this wine is two-pronged, coinciding with the first release of their super premium aged Pinot Noir, Retrospect, from the 2010 vintage. An hypnotic wine, it perfectly captures the splendour of the vintage, with the added benefit of being the best barrels from the best years – aged to perfection for 6 years.

If you are a Pinot Noir enthusiast, you have my categorical assurance that Pinot Noir doesn't come any better in NZ than these superb examples. Word is that Millet and Pujol have collaborated on a 2015 George de Vogue/Prophet's Rock Central Otago Pinot due for release next year. While allocations have not yet been assigned, my team and I will be pushing hard for ours. Suffice to say Prophet's Rock Pinot Noir buyers will get first right of refusal!


Anto Coates – FWDC Wine Program Manager

Prophet's Rock
Retrospect Pinot Noir 2010

(Only 72 bottles available)

Just 708 individually numbered bottles ever made, this new flagship Pinot Noir will only be made in the finest years and released at least 5 years of age.

The debut release of a luxury cuvée, cellar-aged for release when fully primed. From 2010, considered arguably the finest vintage for Pinot Noir in Otago's history, it's a barrel selection of the finest, most age-worthy parcels off Prophet's Rock Home Vineyard. While loftily priced by local standards, the superlative quality of the wine places it firmly in the company of Grand Cru Burgundies (something winemaker Paul Pujol knows all about, being one of the only Kiwi winemakers with cellar experience making the legendary Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny). Individually numbered, it's a collector's item that not only matches the hype, but exceeds it.

Cellar Journal Price...

Prophet's Rock
Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

(only 14 cases available)

95/100 - Bob Campbell MW

“Without a doubt one of the finest and most exciting Pinot Noirs I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Deliciously inviting when young, expect it to deliver huge rewards in the cellar”
Anto Coates, FWD Co Wine Program Manager

After a string of superb vintages in 2010-2012, Prophet's Rock have produced a truly exceptional Pinot Noir. Bottled without filtration, as always, it was held back for over a year in bottle until it was drinking to Paul Pujol's liking (he has a wood-fired pizza oven outside the cabin to help him decide when the wine is truly 'ready'!) This 2013 shows a haunting bouquet of five spice, cherry, Boronia, rose, plum and liquorice, the silken palate is concentrated yet delicate, lingering so long and satisfying it defies belief. Pretty close to perfection, this is a wine that's immediately loveable but one that will surprise and delight in the cellar. Small production, so don't miss out!

Cellar Journal Price: