“After 4 vintages where things didn’t go according to plan we finally have the Arneis back on the tasting bench. The last time this wine was made was back in 2007 so it is a bit of a “whoop-dee-do” that we are now about to release the 2011 vintage.
As you know we rely heavily on nature. We tend not to add yeast to most of the barrel fermented white wine that we produce under the Helen’s Hill label. Our Fume Blanc aka Evolution and Arneis are 100% natural ferment and our Chardonnay is up to 75% natural or “wild” ferment.
As with everything that is 100% natural sometimes things do not go according to plan. This is particularly the case with the Arneis. Added to these winemaking challenges are the intricacies involved in growing the stuff to begin with. To say that this variety can be troublesome in the vineyard is an understatement! I would say that the Helen’s Hill Arneis aka The Nemesis is more than aptly named!
So it has been a long time coming but in 2011 things went according to plan – and the result is worth the wait. Nine months in old French oak barrels, 100% natural ferment and extended time on lees has resulted in a wine that captures the uniqueness of this variety. The nose is complex and aromatic. The palate is all almonds, pears, peaches and honey. It has a firm clean finish but with tiny hints of toast from time in barrel. A perfect substitute to New Zealand Sav Blanc with the added bonus that you can drink it with a variety of food – but in particular, seafood!”
Chillout Travel Winery Tours highly recommends Helens Hill Estate for a great Cellar Door experience. We can take your group on one of our winery tours to the Yarra Valley where you can sample their lovely and interesting selection of wines, whilst enjoying the rustic ambiance and warm fireplace set amongst the blue gums and vines…… click on this link for more information – Yarra Valley Winery Tour
[Sourced 30 April 2012 – Helens Hill Estate May Newsletter]