Macedon our flagship sparkling wine.
There are three wines in our flagship sparkling range:
- The deluxe Macedon LD (late disgorge) NV Brut with nine years on lees
- Macedon NV Brut Cuvée (Cuvée XIII the current release - 51 months on lees
- Macedon NV Brut Rosé - a younger fresh aperitif style with 12 months on lees.
As Chris Shananhan of the Canberra Times writes 'World Class Bubbly is worth the drive.'
Be prepared to linger in the tasting room, as Hanging Rock offers one of Australia’s greatest cellar door experiences.
Why here you might ask, on a southerly elevated site on the Great Divide where most grapes, even in the warmest vintage, simply don’t ripen sufficiently to make table wine?
It’s a description that also fits France's Champagne region – a climatically marginal wine area producing annually about 300 million bottles of top-shelf bubbly.
The marginal climate at 50 degrees north means that chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier struggle to the high acid ripeness behind Champagne’s unique delicate flavours.
Thirty years ago no Australian winemaker could even approximate these flavours for the simple reason that we didn’t have the right grapes growing in the right region. Yes, we’d long since replicated Champagne methods. But we’d applied them principally to neutral varieties like ondenc.
By the early eighties several winemakers including Dominique Landragin, Brian Croser and John Ellis had been thinking of possible cold growing sites at high altitudes or low latitudes, including Tasmania.
For Ellis the search – based on a brief to a geologist to find the coldest site in Australia – led to Jim Jim hill in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges region. John and his wife Ann bought the site, established Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on Jim Jim’s cold southern slope and created a winery.
While the site was chosen specifically to make world-class sparkling wine, commercial reality meant the production of table wines using Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris from Jim Jim and other varieties from neighbouring regions.
For a visit to Cellar Door, the starting point - perhaps the highest point - are the sparkling wines, reviewed in Top Drops. These are unique in Australia, not just for the extraordinary fruit flavour with its Champagne-like intensity, but for the texture and complexity added by the making and maturation methods. All top end bubblies receive prolonged bottle maturation on yeast lees. But the Hanging Rock sparklers spend three years in old oak on lees prior to bottling. This is not so much about oak but about the oxidative environment, contact with lees and prolonged ageing – something that makes the flavour of this unique wine flourish.
And if you love Bollinger, the French classic that’s also fermented and matured in old oak, you’ll appreciate the comparable nuances in Hanging Rock. It’s worth the trip for the bubblies alone.'