by Allister Ashmead
It is with great excitement that we now bring you the release of our sixth vintage of the Helbig 1915 Shiraz!
Previously just known as Fifteen, this is a wine sourced from a small single vineyard of truly remarkable Shiraz up on the Western ridge of the Barossa, planted by the Helbig family in 1915. Three generations farmed this beautiful part of the Barossa, before the Ashmead family was lucky enough to buy it after harvest in 2010. This block has quickly become one of our family’s most treasured and prized possessions (obviously alongside the Command Shiraz and Ashmead Cabernet vineyards). Over the past ten years we have come to understand what it is capable of.
Handmade with love
Hand-tended in the vineyard and winery, the Helbig 1915 Shiraz is a wine that is unmatched in our portfolio. Conrad, our Viticulturist, prunes each of the vines by hand, carefully setting them up for the season ahead. Following selective hand picking, the wine is fermented in a 1500 litre French oak barrel that requires rotating on a regular basis.
Very limited release
There were only 886 bottles of the 2019 vintage produced, as production was hampered by early season heatwaves and high winds during flowering. As a result, the 2019 is a dense and dark wine which still manages elegance and structure. Flavours of plum, mocha and cool tar are supported with beautiful French oak and there is a firm tannin structure that underpins the wonderful fruit through the palate.
As our Winemaker Brock Harrison notes, “Our 2019 Helbig 1915 Shiraz is hand picked, fermented in a large format oak barrel (1500 litres) and left on skins in this closed vessel for several weeks. This results in very gentle and slow extraction of the bold tannins synonymous with the Helbig fruit. The wine was then pressed and spent a couple of winters in some of our favourite French oak.”
From the winemakers
Production 886 bottles
Palate Elegant and structured, spicy plums and a touch of cool tar with supple oak to balance. A firm, long tannin structure underpins the fruit through the palate.
Winemakers’ comment Although an exceptionally low yield, the 2019 Helbig 1915 Shiraz has abundant presence on the palate, with fruit and tannin seamlessly aligned.
Cellaring Up to a couple of decades from vintage, given good cellaring conditions.
750mL bottles and gift boxed 3 bottle packs are now available online and in Cellar Door. A limited release of 24 magnums (1.5L) and 2 imperials (6L) was also bottled. Contact Jodhi at Cellar Door for more information about these bottles.
The Ashmead family recommend mid to long term cellaring for this wine, but if you are to open it young, the wine demands a long decant before drinking.
A must for the serious Barossa Shiraz lover!
Story from our newsletter, the Elderton Buzz – October 2021 edition