8 Hanging Rock Wines get 5 stars in James Hallidays 2015 Wine Companion
The Macedon area has proved very marginal in spots, and the Hanging Rock vineyards, with their lovely vista towards the Rock, are no exception. John Ellis has thus elected to source additional grapes from various parts of Victoria to produce an interesting and diverse range of varietals at different price points. In 2011 John and Anns children Ruth and Robert returned to the fold: Robert obtained his oenology degree at Adelaide University in 06, since working as a Flying Winemaker in Champagne, Burgundy, Oregon and Stellenbosch. More recently he worked as winemaker at Hewitson, before coming back to Hanging Rock to take over winemaking responsibilities from father John, the latter continuing as Managing Director. Ruth has a degree in wine marketing from Adelaide University.
2013 Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc- The vines were planted in '83, directly below the winery, and are picked in three stages to maximise complexity, and 10% is barrel-fermented. The result is a wine that combines complexity with elegance, the natural acidity created by the site is of fundamental importance to the wine, yet is largely hidden by stone fruit and citrus flavours. Rating: 94 (5 glasses). Drink by: 2016 Price $28.00 Alc 13%
2012 Cambrian Rise Heathcote Shiraz- Bright, but deep, colour is an inviting start to a wine with an extremely complex bouquet of ripe blackberry, plum, licorice and allspice, the medium-bodied palate bringing all of the flavours into the glass, yet retaining elegance and finesse thanks to the tannin management and subtle oak usage. Rating: 94 (5 glasses) Drink by 2032. Price $30.00. Alc. 14.5%
2011 Heathcote Shiraz- Produced from the estate Athols Paddock vineyard; was fermented in, and spent 24 months in French oak barriques, and is a testament to the outstanding quality of the vineyard. The colour is far deeper than most produced in the region in 2011, and sets the scene for the fragrant, medium-bodied palate that follow, with spice and pepper joining the red and black fruits, no one part dominant; even the oak is not over the top. Rating: 94 points (5 glasses). Drink by: 2026, Price $75. Alc, 13.6%
2012 Hanging Rock Jim Jim Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir- Brilliant, clear purple-crimson colour introduces a wine with a highly floral and fragrant bouquet, followed by a pure, tightly structured, palate with some of the mouthfeel of young Burgundy, and crying out for more time; has extreme length.
Rating 94 ( 5 glasses) Drink by 2025. Price: $50.00. Alc 13%
2012 Hanging Rock Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir- Similar clarity of colour and fragrance of the Jim Jim '12, there are more sweet red cherry fruit flavours here, and it beckons the taster with its allure; that said, there isn't quite the same structure and focus.
Rating 94 points (5 glasses) Drink by 2020. Alc 13%
2006 Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz Reserve- The colour is extraordinarily youthful, the wine flavour and structure likewise; on the one hand there is positively juicy black fruits, on the other licorice, spice and savoury tannins. In Sept 2009 I gave it 95 points, with a projected maturity of 2026, and see no reason to change either of those.
Rating: 95 points: (5 glasses). Drink by 2026. Price: $105. Alc. 14.5%
NV Macedon Brut Rose- A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay made using the traditional method; the multi-vintage base wine blend was barrel-aged before being tiraged and aged on lees for a minimum of 24 months. The rose colour comes from using a small amount of pinot noir table wine added as part of the dosage following removal of the lees; this is a very delicate, dare I say enchanting, rose with impeccable balance and beautifully pure strawberry fruit flavours; the dosage is low simply because there were so few phenolics to deal with, and Robert Ellis was happy to end up with alcohol of 12%.
Rating: 95 points (5 glasses). Drink by: 2016. Price: $30.00. Alc. 12%
2012 Jim Jim Chardonnay- You can see the taut minerality underlying the opulent fruit and oak charecters in the wine, opulence enhanced, rather than diminished by time in the bottle; the end result is a wine with considerable charecter and complexity.
Rating 94 points (5 glasses). Drink by: 2020. Price $40.00 Alc. 12.5%