Highlights: Prophet’s Rock Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 Central Otago, New Zealand

Website: https://www.prophetsrock.co.nz/

Prophet’s Rock Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 Central Otago, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. Since 2005, Paul Pujol has been making wines at Prophet’s Rock, in the Bendigo subdistrict of Central Otago. Paul has wide experience making wine elsewhere, and after working vintage at De Vogüé in Burgundy he has since developed an interesting collaboration with François Millet, who travels regularly to Central Otago. Paul is making some of New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir, and this one comes from the Home Vineyard. This is 7.5 hectares is on the higher terrace in Bendigo. These are older soils, and have experienced more weathering, with some of the schist (the main bedrock in Central Otago) degraded to clay. The red-coloured topsoil schist has quite a bit of iron and different bands of clay. In this semi-arid climate there has been some accumulation of limestone (pedogenic lime) where the calcium ions have not been rinsed through by rainfall and have been held up by the clay. This builds up a layer of pedogenic lime about a foot thick half a metre below the surface at one end of the vineyard, and 80-100 cm down at the other. It’s an interesting soil, and the clay and limestone elements hold on to water, which is handy. The back corner of the vineyard is at 400 metres, which is as high as you want to go in Central Otago. The vineyard was planted in 2000, so now has some decent vine age. This is fermented with wild yeast and spends 17 months in French oak. Brooding and focused, this has a core of sweet black cherry fruit with some blackberry, together with notes of iodine, salty spiciness and fine green hints. It’s a little grunty in a nice way, and tends to elegance. A beautiful expression of Central Pinot, finishing juicy and stony. Quite brilliant. 95/100 (I bought this for £30 from The Wine Society)