Anyone who knows about the wines of Yass Valley will know of Ken Helm.  A regional winemaking icon, Ken, together with Judith, has been cranking out classic cool climate wines at their Murrumbateman winery for near-on fifty years. 

Ken Helm in cask room Dec 2021-Photo by Petra Jungmanova

Ken is well known as a ‘Master of Riesling’, but his winemaking wand waves magically at other varieties too, especially Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Helm Cabernets are consistently fantastic year-in, year-out. 

This week’s ‘swirl’ – the Helm Classic Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 – is another cracking wine in a long, illustrious line-up.

This Cabernet is a deep and dark ruby red in the glass.  A swirl reveals inviting aromas of deeply ripe cherries, blackcurrants and mulberries with a hint of crushed cloves and allspice. 

The mouthfeel is at the fuller end of medium-bodied and the wine flushes across the palate with a supple smoothness, with ripe red and dark cherry and plum flavours and a hint of sweet vanilla. 

This is a cracking cool climate Cabernet at work.

We bought our bottle from the solid local wine selection at the Murrumbateman Country Inn and enjoyed with the tender Moroccan spiced lamb backstrap with red wine jus from the specials menu. 

This wine would go well with any premium cut of beef or a slow-cooked leg of lamb. 

You can always head out to see Ken and take in a few yarns at their cellar door, or you can buy for $50 online. 

Brent Lello

Yass Valley Wine Columnist

Visit Helm Wines – Helm Wines, in Murrumbateman NSW, was established by Ken and Judith Helm in 1973. Ken is a descendant of German vignerons who planted vines in the Albury district in the 1850s. Helm Wines specialises in the production of award-winning Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon and has a number of vineyards and wineries dedicated to
these two varieties.

Our wines can be enjoyed at our Cellar Door in Murrumbateman, the heritage-listed 1888 Toual Schoolhouse.
Helm Wines has just completed its 43rd vintage, and James Halliday rated the winery as a top winery in the Canberra District for the 9th year in a row, and two of the Rieslings among the best in Australia with 95 and 96 points.

Photo at the top – by Irene Dowdy