Peter's Pick Hanging Rock ROCK Semillon Sauvignon Blanc - 'Bloody Good!' Quaff Online Newsletter Peter Forrestal
A winewriter's life is mainly hard grind. It usually involves hours of toil slogging away at an unforgiving computer (even if it is joy-of-joys an Apple Mac) or the backbreaking concentration required to master a lengthy bracket of inexpensive Aussie cabernet.
It was just as tough last week though I did get outdoors navigating the freeways and (poorly sign-posted) shady lanes of the Macedon Ranges with its omnipresent Hanging Rock. The weather was good enough for a picnic on Tuesday although the other days favoured the vignerons who have been without water for such a long time.
The trip really began with my first visit to the magical Lake House at Daylesford and a meal at Alla Wolf Tasker's stunnningly accomplished restaurant. It gets my vote as Australia's best country dining room.
Other excellent meals followed at the Royal George in Kyneton and Campaspe House at Woodend - both of which featured terrific local wine lists while Kyneton chef, Annie Smithers, cooked a sublime lunch at Curly Flat.
So a visit to the Macedon Ranges's wine region offers much more than interesting wines and bewilderingly beautiful scenery. This ultra-cool region is situated within a hour's drive of Melbourne and deserves to be much better known.
Its best wineries have a well-respected national profile - Hanging Rock, Curly Flat, Bindi, Cobaw Ridge, Rochford, Knight Granite Hills and nearby Craiglee - and are available at top wine merchants around the country - although not at quaffing prices. Apart from the immense natural beauty of the region, I discovered a plethora of tiny new vineyards which will make an impact in time.
Many of these offer unexpected pleasures at pre-discovery prices. The extensive Hanging Rock range of John and Ann Ellis offers many sublime wines including my favourite, the vibrant Hanging Rock 'Jim Jim' Sauvignon Blanc.
This 2007 Sem Sauv Blanc is the best of Hanging Rock's budget-priced 'Rock' label - fresh, clean and lively, succulent and juicy with cool intense tropical fruit flavours and bright, refreshing acidity.
It's a satisfying cool climate drink-me-now white at a fair price.
|Stockists:||Limited availability in all states|
|Reviewed:||13 July 2007