Prophet’s Rock winemaker Paul Pujol has had considerably more latitude to express the styles of Pinot Noir he wishes to make since the new ownership of the company took place at the start of 2013. While essentially he has a more European take on making his wines, so that they are not overly fruity, and they possess greater textural qualities, Paul has been able to provide a clearer delineation between the premium ‘Prophet’s Rock’ label and the second tier ‘Rock Point’ wine. The former has greater depth, complexity and longevity, and reflects the ‘Home’ vineyard on Chinaman’s Terrace in the Bendigo sub-region. The ‘Rocky Point’ is more accessible, and reflects the company’s schist-soiled ‘Rocky Point’ vineyard, lower in altitude, but also in Bendigo. Here, I review the new release Rocky Point Pinot Noir 2015. It may be the best released to date.
Very dark, deep, even ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a firm, tightly bound nose with aromas of black berried and black cherry fruit, along with concentrated notes of liquorice, iron-earth and minerals, unfolding subtle dark –red and violet florals and dark herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate features juicy and sweet flavours of black cherries, blackberries and succulent notes of liquorice that reveal iron-earth minerals and dark thyme herbs. The fruit is underlined by fine, grainy tannin extraction, and the palate has linearity. Soft, integrated acidity lends a degree of accessibility and the wine carries to a long, dry, fine-textured finish. This is a rich and sweet black fruited Pinot Noir with liquorice and mineral notes, and a firm, concentrated and linear flow. Match with venison and game meat dishes over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit, predominantly from the ‘Rocky Point’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in barrel. Raymond Chan (4 stars / 18+ points. June 2016)