2017 Wine Companion reviews

2016 Helen’s Hill ‘Breachley Block’ Chardonnay

James Halliday – Published on 01 Aug 2017 

Hand-picked, three clones, wild-fermented in French oak (28% new); 10mth maturation. A fragrant bouquet and perfectly poised palate, with grapefruit and minerally acidity the drivers of a long, lingering finish and fresh aftertaste. 95 Points

2015 Helen’s Hill ‘Long Walk’ Pinot Noir (SOLD OUT)

James Halliday – Published on 01 Aug 2017

Star-bright crimson hue; two clones, both old, destemmed but not crushed for whole berry fermentation in open fermenters with 8-10 days on skins, pressed, settled and racked to French barriques for 11 months, held on fine lees without racking until racked for bottling. It has a highly aromatic bouquet with spicy plum aromas leading into a light to medium-bodied palate with savoury/foresty nuances providing a counterpoint to the plummy fruit. The balance and the length cannot be faulted in a wine that does full justice to a great vintage for pinot noir in the Yarra Valley. Its balance, and its screwcap (it is not the least reductive), will allow it to coast past ’25 for those who enjoy the full panoply of aromas and flavours of mature pinot noir.       96 Points

2014 Helen’s Hill Reserve ‘First Light’ Single Clone MV6 Pinot Noir

James Halliday – Published on 01 Aug 2017

Single vineyard, single clone, hand-picked, matured in French barriques for 14 months. The clone is MV6, selected from Clos Vougeot in Dec 1831 and became – and remains – the most widely planted red across Australia, mostly on its own roots. Here the purple of plum joins black cherry rolling inexorably along and to the finish and aftertaste. 95 Points


2014 Helen’s Hill Reserve ‘Range View’ Single Clone D4V5 Pinot Noir

James Halliday – Published on 01 Aug 2017

The fragrant and expressive bouquet of red and black cherry fruits flows in to a juicy, lively palate with a silken web of fine, ripe tannins, French oak the orchestra playing in the pits below front stage. 96 Points

2014 Helen’s Hill ‘Hill Top’ Syrah

James Halliday – Published on 01 Aug 2017

Deep purple-crimson; destemmed and crushed to small open top stainless steel pots for co-fermentation with 1.24% viognier. After 10 days on skins, was pressed, settled and racked to French barriques (35% new) for 18 months maturation, during which time it was only racked once prior to being readied for bottling. The bouquet is flush with black fruits, a whiff of cracked pepper and of briar, the palate medium to full-bodied. Its undoubted power does not rely on tannins so much as the intensity and persistence of the flavours from a low-yielding vintage, the berries and bunches smaller than usual. Vine maturity, meticulous viticulture of the highest standard, and the use of high tech grape sorting machines are unseen but critically important contributors to the quality of Helen’s Hill’s wines. Prior history in the Yarra Valley would suggest a minimum life span of 20+ years. 95 Points

2014 Helen’s Hill ‘Old Orchard’ Cabernets

James Halliday – Published on 01 Aug 2017

Excellent depth and clarity of crimson-purple colour; a complex, rich and substantial medium to full-bodied wine; black fruits, cedar, earth and warm spices; the tannins are supple, and lengthen the finish and aftertaste. 95 Points


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