Concentrated and elegant with red and dark fruit, spectacular baking spices combined with smoky oak and the signature integrated tannin structure, this seamless wine with its velvety texture will leave you wanting more.
The foundation of this wine is our focus on delivering low-yielding concentrated fruit that expresses our vineyard. In the winery, we employ traditional old world techniques; the grapes are handled gently and the wines are fermented using only the indigenous yeast from the vineyard.
The wines are aged in barrel for 15-18 months before being bottled unfiltered, and are cellared before release. Since the first release in 2005, the Prophet’s Rock Pinot Noir has consistently been one of the best-reviewed Pinot Noirs in New Zealand.
Cellaring will reward collectors over the next 10+ years from vintage.
“A fantastic pinot with dried strawberries, orange peel, terra-cotta, and dried leaves. It’s full and very layered with creamy and fine tannins that go on for minutes. Plenty of depth and very long with tension and a beautifully creamy, velvety finish.” James Suckling, 97 points
2022 vintage notes
We had a cool start to spring with a fairly bleak September, meaning budburst was only fully underway in early October. October was mild and warmed up in the last week with temperatures over 20DegC as vine growth started to accelerate. November, as has often been the case, was a transition month. There were cool temperatures and rain mid-month but by the end of the month we’d had our first day hit 30C.
Our first month of ‘summer’ wasn’t especially hot, December did not have a single day that reached 30C, it was stable but mild with 53mm of rain spread throughout the month. Good growing conditions for the vines with very even shoot growth through this period and a good flowering.
January was when summer arrived, the month was dry and very warm, classic Central Otago golden weather. The warm weather continued through February with some welcome rainfall early in the month.
We started picking in mid-March with Chardonnay and conditions were perfect for harvest, mild temperatures in the mod-20’s and no rainfall after a small shower on the 8th of March. April continued the golden weather, after the first week the temperatures hovered in a range of 15-22 degrees. We were all done on the 12th of April, finishing with the Vin de Paille harvest.
As far as vintages go, everything was rather straightforward, no weather events to disrupt plans, amazing fruit and flavours and easy ferments. Right from the start the wines showed a lovely depth of flavour and concentration, bright aromatics, and good structure in the Pinot Noir.
48 barrels were made.
17 months in French oak barrels
Bottled on 6th of October 2023.
Since the first release in 2005, this wine has been sourced exclusively from our small Home Vineyard site up in the hills of Bendigo sub-region, Central Otago.
The vineyard sits on a high elevation (320 – 390m), steep glacial terrace high above the valley floor. The site features some of the oldest vineyard soils in the valley with the formation of the terrace occurring approximately 650K years ago. The soil age and dry Central Otago climate have combined to create the unusual clay and pedogenic lime soil structure. Beneath layers of clay at a depth of 50-80cm sits a thick layer of chalk. The 7.5ha site was prepared and planted between 1999-2001 and features 7 clones of Pinot Noir and 0.5ha of Pinot Gris. Full organic certification (Biogro) was completed prior to the 2018 vintage.
A strong focus on viticulture is the foundation of the winemaking approach. Yields are consistently managed to 30-35hl/ha or approximately 4ton/ha.
The handpicked fruit is destemmed and fermented using only indigenous ‘wild’ yeast. A key feature of our vinification is extremely low extraction, all our small open top tanks are only hand-plunged once during fermentation. The wine then spends 17 months in barrel (35% new) and undergoes indigenous malolactic fermentation. The wine is bottled unfiltered under Diam cork.
2022 – A fantastic pinot with dried strawberries, orange peel, terra-cotta, and dried leaves. It’s full and very layered with creamy and fine tannins that go on for minutes. Plenty of depth and very long with tension and a beautifully creamy, velvety finish. James Suckling (97 points).
2021 – Fragrant, dense wine with cassis, blackcurrant, dark chocolate and nutty oak flavours. Impressive, attention-grabbing wine that envelopes the senses. Clearly from a favourable vintage and with obvious cellaring potential. Bob Campbell (97 points).
2020 – A perfumed nose of pitted red cherries, spiced strawberries, cooking spice and moss. Medium-bodied with velvety tannins. Fresh and mineral on the palate with notes of wet stone, thyme, and red cherries oscillating between one another. Vibrant finish. Drink or hold. James Suckling (94 points)
2019 – Deep, dark pinot noir with cassis, dark cherry/berry, red-fleshed plum, liquorice, smoky oak and mixed spice/anise flavours. Prophet’s Rock’s signature low-extraction winemaking has produced an accessible wine supported by ripe tannins that suggest good ageing potential. Terrific wine! Bob Campbell (96 points)
2018 – Medium to full ruby colour with traces of purple and brick-red. The bouquet is reserved and metallic with ironstone and dried-blood nuances, dark plum emerging with airing, and very complex. The wine is full-bodied and savoury, with drying tannins, fleshiness and terrific depth of flavour. Serious concentration and appetising savouriness. A pinot with structure: the tannins are typical of the Bendigo subregion. Huon Hooke (96 points)
2017 This is a scintillatingly rich expression of pinot noir that offers such intense, ripe red and dark cherries, as well as crushed violets, stones, meaty nuances and spicy aromas. The palate has a very juicy and rich feel with a sleek, fresh finish. So concentrated and seamless. Drink or hold. JamesSuckling.Com (96 Points)
2016 This is very good. The rich and attractive, fresh red cherries and plums sing in the glass. It delivers a very vibrant impression with blood oranges and pomegranate in the mix, too. Smooth tannins carry long and seamless, drenched in ripe red-cherry and pithy pink-grapefruit flavors. Super long and rippling with energetic fruit, this is a beautiful young pinot. Drink or hold. JamesSuckling.Com (96 Points)
2015 “A different shape to this wine. There’s a more savory edge to the aromas and flavors initially. Then, a core of bright, pristine and spicy red-cherry flavor emanates from the center of the palate. Fresh and sustained finish. Great pinot that will age nicely. Drink or hold”. JamesSuckling.Com (94 Points)
2014 “An elegant and charming bouquet of light savoury moments, wild flowers and red berry fruits, a layer of newer oak and related wood spices add depth and complexity. On the palate – fleshy, dry, fruity and tense with youthful yet fine and silky tannins, medium+ acidity and layers of wood spice and brown toasty spice especially vanilla and clove. Lengthy finish, balanced and well made.” Cameron Douglas, MS (93 Points)
2013 The most perfumed Prophet’s Rock Pinot I can recall, the 2013 Home Vineyard Pinot Noir features rose-like florals on the nose, followed by layers of rich, ripe fruit. Black cherry, cinnamon and allspice mark the medium to full-bodied palate, leading into a long, silky-textured finish. Mature now, it should hold at this level for another 6-7 years. The Wine Advocate – RobertParker.Com (94 Points)
2012 “Lovely Pinot Noir with an appealing, perfumed aroma of ripe cherry, plum and a suggestion of violets (thyme?). Lovely structure, with an emphasis on fruit rather than savoury characters. Very elegant wine indeed.” Bob Campbell MW (96 Points, 5 stars)
2011 “Juicy, bright and fresh with nice structure under the sweet, pure cherry and plum fruit. Nice warm spicy undertones. There’s a silky elegance here, finishing bright and spicy.” Jamie Goode (93 Points)
2010 “A high terrace at 400 m. This vineyard has a lens of chalk, which is actually pedogenic lime, with minerals in the rain accumulated in the soil by evaporation. Ripe and fresh with lovely supple cherry fruit. Quite an elegant style: supple and alive, showing finesse and a lightness of touch. Jamie Goode (94 Points)
2009 The 2009 vintage was estate-grown at Bendigo, in the Cromwell Basin, hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and matured for 18 months in French oak barriques (35 per cent new.) Ruby hued, it is sweet-fruited and supple, with moderately concentrated cherry and spice flavours, showing good, savoury complexity, and a deliciously soft texture. Drink now or cellar. Michael Cooper (5 stars)
2007 “Lovely cedary complexity, masses of fruit and a little more finess than the 2006. Balanced and deliciously moreish on the palate, the fruit has a much more sinewy, elegantly muscular character and lovely length.” Tom Cannavan (92/100).
2006 “Medium to deep ruby colour. Profound nose of violets, moss, cooked beets and dark chocolate covered cherries. The palate is elegant, crisp and complex with a minerally, savoury character supported by a medium level of finely grained tannins. Very long finish. Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (93 Points)
2005 Elegant and powerful Pinot Noir that delivers its array of cherry, plum and spice flavours with great subtlety. Very attractive wine indeed – one of the best from the vintage. Bob Campbell MW (95 Points)