As each year passes we tend to forget the prior year so as I was unwrapping a pallet of the about to be released Helen’s Hill 2010 Chardonnay to fill the Cellar Door stocks and ready the wine shipments to our national distributors I wondered how it would stack up against past vintages. This prompted me to have a look back in the records to see what this vintage will be compared to.
One of the best rating cards we have for my wander through the archives of past vintages is the yearly Wine Companion book published by world renowned wine critic James Halliday. Without wanting to sound like an ego manic I was pleasantly surprised by the results. As said, one tends to focus on the current vintage, the hear and now, with last years results and the years before that being forgotten about so it was only when I looked back into the record books that the consistency of our Chardonnay became apparent;
Helen’s Hill 2003 Chardonnay 93 points
Helen’s Hill 2004 Chardonnay 93 points
Helen’s Hill 2006 Chardonnay 94 points
Helen’s Hill 2007 Chardonnay 93 points
Helen’s Hill 2008 Chardonnay 94 points
Helen’s Hill 2009 Chardonnay 94 points
Ingram Rd 2009 Chardonnay 92 points
Ingram Rd 2010 Chardonnay 93 points
NB; we didn’t release a 2005 vintage.
With these scores in mind I both eagerly and with a sense of trepidation ripped the cap off the Helen’s Hill 2010 Chardonnay. (we bottled it in November 2010 and I thought it was an excellent wine but that was a while ago so forgive me for not remembering exactly what it tasted like)
Clearly I have no third party endorsement as yet but I will go out on a limb and say that the Helen’s Hill 2010 Chardonnay is probably the best Chardonnay we have made. A big call when you consider the above line up but the 2010 wine is this wonderful blend of tight fresh citrus, lime and grapefruit flavours on the front pallet with hints of white stone fruit and toasty characters on the back. There is a hint of oak and delicate tannins which add length to the finish but they are far from obvious. Intense but not over powering, elegant but not shy. A well balanced, beautiful wine.
In closing, (which will allow me to go back and enjoy the rest of the bottle!!) I am pretty confident that the Helen’s Hill 2010 Chardonnay will continue our run of making CGC. (Consistently Good Chardonnay)