John Lewis reviews Macedon LD Cuvée VI - Newcastle Morning Herald
It comes encased in a silver metal cage and, at $110 a bottle it is Australia’s most expensive sparkling wine.
It is the Hanging Rock Macedon LD Cuvée VI, John and Ann Ellis’s “Super Macedon” that I first wrote about back in 2004. It has just been released along with two other Hanging Rock bubblies, the $27 Macedon Non Vintage Rosé and the $45 Hanging Rock Non-Vintage Brut Cuvée XI and I believe it fulfills John Ellis’s aim of producing an Australian wine that mirrors the prestigious Bollinger RD Extra Brut wines of Champagne.
John Ellis describes it as his ‘no expense spared piece de resistance’. It has tiny, long-lasting bubbles and aromas of citrus and freshly baked bread. Delicate a melon flavour comes through on the front of the palate and complex elements of ripe strawberries and cream, shortbread biscuits and toasted nuts chime in on the middle palate. Agreeably tight steely acid features at the finish.
I think it deserves to be served with entrees and main courses rather than as an aperitif and it would enhance such dishes as lobster and avocado soufflé, crisp skinned schnapper with lime beurre blanc or spatchcock en papillote with herbs.
John and Ann, the daughter of the late Murray Tyrrell, established their Hanging Rock operation in Victoria’s cool Mt Macedon area in 1983 with the dream of making sparkling wines in the style of Krug and Bollinger. The Macedon LD is the end product of their endeavours. The LD on the label stands for late disgorged and its production reflects the methods used in the Bollinger RD (recently disgorged) Champagnes.
The foundation of Macedon LD was Macedon VI, the base wine of which comprised half 1995 vintage and the other half a blend of all vintages from 1994 to 1987. The LD wine was bottled in 1996 and spent nine years on the lees, meaning the wine was in contact with the dead yeast cells. In November last year the bottles were disgorged, the process the French call ‘degorgement’ meaning ‘throat clearing’.
This removed the yeast cells sediment and the Macedon LD was almost ready to hit the market, and, in the words of John Ellis, “raise the bar of expectations for the levels Australian sparkling wine can reach.”