Hanging Rock Macedon LD Cuvée Seven- The Age & SMH Good Weekend- Huon Hooke
When John and Ann Ellis setup Hanging Rock in 1983, their no 1 goal was to produce Australia’s finest sparkling wine: a bubbly that would give the greatest Champagnes a shake. It was a hell of a challenge.
Now, 24 years later, the result of that quest can be savoured in the form of Hanging Rock Macedon Late Disgorged, which, at $115 a bottle, fully justifies its price when compared with top level Champagne.
The latest release, Cuvée VII, is a deep straw yellow with bronze reflections. The bouquet is harder to describe, it’s so complex. Roast hazelnut, lightly toasted bread, subtle smoky and meaty nuances, hints of flowers and candied fruits – it’s all in there.
In the mouth it is full bodied, rich and powerful, very much at the big end of the spectrum, and this impressive volume of flavour carries the length of the palate and lingers for a very long time.
It is clean and dry to finish but soft and beautifully balanced.
The bubbles are very fine and the texture is superbly supple.
Technically speaking, it is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, all grown on the Ellises’ own vines, the coldness of the Macedon climate being a critical quality factor. Half the wine was 1996 vintage, the other half a blend of vintages from 1995 to 1987, inclusive. Yes, you read correctly. That is remarkably old. All components were aged in barrels on yeast lees for two years before blending and bottling in February 1997.
Then after the secondary fermentation (which created the bubbles), it was matured for ten years in the bottle before being disgorged for sale, starting in April this year.
This is simply a unique sparkling wine and a great drink.