Hanging Rock Macedon LD compared with Champagne's best by wine writer Ken Gargett
Sunday Herald-Sun July 2 2006.
WINO - with Ken Gargett.
"An old saying suggests serious wine must be red (white winemakers considering penning outraged emails should note that I’m merely the messenger). If whites suffer an image problem, then frivolous fizz has absolutely no respect, and it’s best guzzled at parties or sprayed on victorious racing drivers.
Yet what compares with the flexibility of sparkling wine? Styles range from as delicate as Hepburn to as powerful as Arnie. There are pink sparklers, dry, sweet and in-between, late disgorged (more on this later), single vineyards, blends, flagships and all manner of grapes used.
Not just icebreakers, they are wonderfully versatile with food.
Champagne leads the way. At its best it’s incomparable, though there are plenty of duds. Our Aussie bubbles have improved tremendously in recent years. Winemakers decided to take it seriously and are more selective about grapes and sites. Very cool regions such as Tasmania and Victoria’s Macedon Ranges are going gangbusters.
So what is a late disgorged sparkler? Basically, the dead yeast that turns into alcohol stays in the bottle until it is removed (the disgorging process). The theory is that the e longer the wine spends before disgorging, the more complex is. Cheapies might get a few months while great Champagnes spend years. It’s a bit like marinating barbeque steaks.
The best known is probably Bollinger’s RD, which means recently disgorged, but it’s rarely done here in Oz because of the cost.
However, we know have a cracker from Hanging Rock. Its unashamed Bolly rip-off spent nine years “marinating’ and is lifting the bar for Aussie sparklers.
Hanging Rock Macedon LD NV Cuvée VI $110 – This is stunning, complex stuff. It’s expensive, but for a wine that competes with Champagne’s best, so it should be."