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It would be difficult to overstate just how important the "Ken Helm effect" has been on the Canberra wine scene. As one of the region's pioneering winemakers, much of current plethora of extraordinary wines being produced in the area can trace their heritage back to this man. We have a lot to thank him for.
This is the top of the Helm Riesling totem pole. His Queen of Queens. The most intense, the most luxurious the most earth-shattering example of his pet variety that he can muster which is only released if the vintage is just right.
The 2016 has been sourced exclusively from a Helm estate vineyard for the first time and has been awarded 96 points by James Halliday and 95 points. from Mike Bennie.
This is one of the country's most elite white wines, something that deserves some time in a cool dark place to really hit its straps. Having said that if you like young, powerhouse Riesling this will reward the patient and impatient alike.
What it Tastes Like
A little in its shell at the moment but the quality is undeniable. A rock-hard core of steel, minerals and quartz are the bedrock on which the searing lime and green apple characters do their thing. Length is outstanding. Scintillating is the word that comes to mind. First class.
96 points. "The most intense and pentration of the four riesling releases in '16. Unsweeted lim juice/pith fuit nesttles in a calm but firm cradel of acidity. Length is the inevitable consequence of balance and intensity." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 95 points. "If you like riesling, or fine Australian wine, or great white wine in general, you should know Helm’s suite of rieslings. It doesn’t come out of the blocks at speed but builds up pace with time open. Then, when you’ve had half an hour or so with it, it strikes you as a wine of tightrope walker balance, purity, concentration of flavour, yet a finesse that most riesling misses in youth. Indeed, where other riesling pokes at you and screeches with acidity this is sliding on ice with grace. Lemons, limes, ginger, all that good stuff found in bouquet in palate, but compact, restrained, fine and stretching exceptionally long and smooth through the palate. Just brilliant." - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
The wine is only released under the Premium black label if it reaches a quality benchmark. Since 2004 this style has collected 14 trophies at regional and capital city wine shows, and rave reviews from Australia's most respected wine critics.
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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