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Ken Helm is one of the most iconic names in all Australian Riesling. Considered “Canberra’s best producer of riesling” by James Halliday he was one of the pioneers for this variety in the region and has been one of the big players in the cool climate wine revolution.
This wine’s 40th vintage was the earliest ever for Helm and luckily enough is shaping up as a truly classic Canberra vintage.
All about fruit purity and concentration, this is a benchmark for the Canberra Riesling style which has become so famous. It has already received 95 points from James Halliday and without a doubt is an exemplary wine to mark its 40-year long history.
Riesling fans, Helm is a name you need to know!
What It Tastes Like
Lime, slate and green apples with a hint of white flowers. It is so fine, so pristine, it almost feels cleansing. A refreshing style that is going to go a long time.
95 points. “Elegance and finesse coupled with layered mouthfeel and depth to its citrus bowl of fruit; hints of apple blossom carry onto the palate, albeit second fiddle to the dominant citrus built on the intergrated and balnced acidity.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
94 points “Lemon/lime, citrus peel, floral notes, steely scents and a hint of wet slate. The palate is tight, clean, vigorous in its race across the palate, finishes tight, brittle, bright and with a squeeze of grapefruit juice. Just a faint sense of fruity sweetness to carry the wine long. It’s superb to drink. So refreshing.”
- Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Helm Riesling Classic Dry 2016 Our Classic Dry Riesling is made from grapes sourced from the Helm estate and neighbouring vineyards within the valley in which the Helm winery is situated. The Helm estate vineyard contains the oldest Riesling vines in the Canberra district—planted in 1974. This is Helm Wines’ 40th Riesling vintage.
The Grapes: Helm Wines 40th vintage was marked with a superb season which is typified in the flavours, elegance, and balance of the Riesling Classic Dry. After one of the coldest winters in 15 years, October was dry and the hottest on record. November saw heavy rain and flowering mid month—the earliest in our records. December/January was warm with good rains from storms. Vineyards looked a picture with heavy crops and no disease. Harvest started mid-February—the earliest in 40 years. Unusual heatwaves meant harvesting in the cool of the morning and the winery refrigeration worked overtime. Like 2015 the varieties all ripened close together with some vineyards harvesting Riesling and red grapes in the same week. This wine was made from fruit from four individual vineyards on unique sites, soil, aspects, different clones and managements within 1000 metres of Helm Wines. Great effort goes into selecting the perfect time to harvest as we allow the vineyards to make the wines. We regularly sample, taste, and analyse the sugar, acid and pH content, so the grapes are picked when they are in perfect balance. The individual parcels of fruit are separately managed in the winery, and when complete, carefully blended to produce this distinctive wine. This recipe has been successfully developed over the last 40 years.
The Wine: Fresh, aromatic, lime and crisp apple flavours, perfectly balanced with a refreshing finish. Another elegant and enjoyable Helm Riesling.
Serve with: A versatile wine that will complement a variety of cuisines, particularly Asian cuisine and seafood. Cellar for 25 to 30 years, although if you prefer fresh young Rieslings drink it over the next 5 years
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Helm is one of the biggest name in Canberra wine. Though their volumes are small, their reputation for impeccable quality is undeniable. Specialists in Riesling and Cabernet, they are considered a benchmark producer in both varieties.
Canberra. A mountain of potential. A sleeping giant of Australian wine. The ability of this region to produce world class wines in only a relatively short history is almost second to none in the whole country. We have some absolute geniuses to thank for developing this region. People have taken notice. Canberra wine is some serious gear. With the ability to produce everything from perfumed and tightly wound Syrah, to razor sharp Riesling and a bunch of emerging varieties in the ground excelling, Canberra will be one of the ‘must watch’ wine producing regions in Australia for many years to come.
Riesling is the king of white grapes. With unparalleled versatility, it rightfully carries the ‘Noble’ name tag. We make extraordinary Riesling in Australia, from far and wide. From the classic searing, razor-sharp styles in the Clare and Eden Valleys to the fragrant and enchanting wines of the Great Southern, Australian Riesling is a chameleon that can take on many forms. Sweet, steely, lean or textured, the world of Riesling is a thing of wonder that should be explored by all true lovers of wine.
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