Wine review — Yalumba, Helm & Peter Lehmann

Yalumba ‘Y’ Series South Australia Riesling 2005 $9 to $12
Despite the humble price, ‘Y’ comes from the Barossa and the Eden Valley, key riesling areas. And in the hands of the Yalumba team, you can always count on the flavour and freshness being there. With 52 points out of 60 and a silver medal at the National Show, it outscored many much higher priced 2005 vintage wines. Over time, those wines may overtake ‘Y’. But for current drinking when you want tonnes of fruity aroma and flavour combined with zippy freshness, this is where the value lies. It should continue to drink well over the next two or three years.

Helm Canberra District Premium Riesling $ $33
Ken Helm’s been talking the riesling talk for decades. Now, deservedly, he’s walking the walk with this stunningly good wine. It’s the product of years of incremental adjustments to a winemaking regime applied to the very best grapes from Al Lustenberger’s fastidiously managed Murrumbateman vineyard. All it took was thirty years’ hard work, fuelled by vision, and a benign 2005 growing season that seems to have brought out the best in the variety. This is a wine with a seriously long future: it has the classic citrus and mineral aromatics and taut, intense, steely-yet-delicate palate of classic riesling. This is a great achievement for Ken and a very significant wine for the Canberra district, too. Cellar door phone number is 6227 5953.

Peter Lehmann Eden Valley Riesling 2005 $13 to $16
More often than not the very best rieslings reveal more as they age. This was reflected in the recent Barossa wine show results and at the National in Canberra. Amongst the 2005 vintage contenders, the flagship rieslings generally rated behind cheaper commercial releases. But, over time, we are sure to see those delicate, steely flagships surge ahead. Meanwhile, as these mature, there’s huge drinking pleasure in the more revealing, slightly cheaper rieslings like this triple-gold-medal winner from Peter Lehmann. With lovely aromatics, delicious fruit and taut, ultra-fresh, dry finish, it’s a stunning summer drink. Sensational at the price and has good cellaring potential.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2005 & 2007