Helm Premium Riesling is the pinnacle of their Riesling production. The best fruit is kept aside and only released if the quality is up to the prestigious black label. 2018 is the 12th release of Helm Premium. Drink this wine right now. Or bury it until 2043.
If 10,000 hours gives you mastery of a subject, then Ken Helm’s 44 harvests with Riesling must make him the oracle. Ken’s The Helm estate vineyard contains the oldest Riesling vines in the Canberra district—planted in 1974. The wines have the bones to last. The Helm Classic is a great place to start, and the Premium Riesling is as good as any in the world.
Helm Premium Riesling 2018 Wine Notes
The Wine Companion
“Made in the new winery with all of its whizz bang pieces of equipment. This is a dry as its Classic Dry sibling (what’s in a name?), and has but one message: drink later on a 4:1 ratio. It has perfect balance of citrus, Granny Smith apple and a core of acidity you appreciate without shading the fruit.”
Helm 2018 Vintage Notes
“The 2018 vintage was one of our most unusual, with very low winter rain, frost free spring, excellent fruit set and good rains up to December then very dry till Harvest. Temperatures were mild, preventing any late season frosts. Vine growth was rampant providing good foliage coverage for all varieties, but especially for Riesling grapes to prevent sunburn. A hot dry summer aided ripening and reduced disease pressures. There were several heatwaves during the season although our regular evening sea breeze cooled things down considerably overnight. The conditions provided a record crop set, slow ripening due to the lack of rain, which meant harvest was late – end of March. Quality did not suffer and it was another very high quality season for the Canberra District, which makes four in a row, all of which have been very different due to the weather conditions.”
Although there is heritage back to 1840s, the modern region started in 1970s with experimental blocks planted. The climate is cold, and the elevation is between 300 and 800. Riesling and Shiraz are standout varieties with site determining what other grapes excel.
One of the world’s most noble varieties and known transmitter of terroir. Riesling is an important variety of quality wine production. Although it only makes up approximately 4% of the planted area. Find superb Riesling in Germany, Austria, Alsace and Australia. They can be as dry as any wine you’ll taste or super sweet and luscious. See more about Riesling here.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the distinctive terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.