Each year around the end of July, wineries wait in eager anticipation for the release of the annual Wine Companion book authored by world renowned Australian wine critic James Halliday. The book rates pretty much every new release wine on the Australian market and is widely regarded as the industry bible.
Check out what Halliday had to say about your favourite Helen’s Hill drop:
Helen’s Hill Cabernets 2008:
Deep, dense red-purple; a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot; an unusually full-bodied Bordeaux blend by Yarra Valley standards, yet the depths of the black fruits are not heavy, and the tannins are precisely structured and balanced. This is a certain 40+-year cellar proposition.
Helen’s Hill Chardonnay 2010:
Pale straw-green; has (just) stayed on the right side of ripeness balance; barrel fermentation and maturation in French oak has been perfectly judged, providing support and a degree of complexity to an elegant wine with equal contributions of grapefruit, white peach and nectarine.
Helen’s Hill Pinot Noir 2012:
Strong, clear red-purple; estate-grown MV6, 113 and 114 clone grapes have come together in a top vintage to provide a pinot that has both depth and length to its display of dark plum and cherry fruit, French oak having its say, as do fine tannins – all in tune with each other.
Helen’s Hill Syrah 2010:
Excellent purple-crimson; a very good rendition of Yarra Valley shiraz; both the bouquet and palate have an array of black and red berry fruits; the fine but persistent tannins adding structure, French oak also adding to the length of the palate.
Ingram Road Chardonnay 2012:
This is the estate-grown and made second label of Helen’s Hill Estate. A delicious and vivacious wine, with just the right flavour balance between grapefruit and white-fleshed stone fruit, the finish long and clean, the acidity precisely judged, oak discreetly in the background. A very good vintage. The wine is an each-way proposition: now or in 5 years.
Ingram Road Pinot Noir 2012:
The wine opens with strong, bright purple-red. This is an excellent pinot noir at the give-away price, benefiting from the very good growing conditions of the season, with French oak and ripe tannins woven through red and black cherry fruit flavours. The finish is long and satisfying, and the wine will blossom over the next few years.
Ingram Road Pinot Grigio 2011:
The wine has the expected pale quartz colour, has been stainless steel fermented and early-assembled for bottling. It has clear-cut, fragrant pear and baked apple aromas, citrus joining in on the palate. It has revelled in the cool conditions of the vintage, and seems to have escaped the clutch of botrytis. An attractive wine, not far short of gris, given its flavour.
Ingram Road Shiraz Cabernets 2009:
The wine offers a synergistic blend of fresh black and red fruits picked at the right moment to produce what is, by any standards, an elegant wine for drinking over the next 5 years.