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A Top-Flight Chardonnay Value—94 Points and $14.99 - 11/13/2019 - Australia

Our direct import program is chock full of amazing values but consistently top among them are the inspired bottlings of Helen’s Hill. Our most recent arrival, the 94-point 2018 Ingram Road Chardonnay, is a classic example of the amazing work being done at this estate. This gorgeous 2018 is hand-harvested, produced from estate-grown fruit, and fermented with wild yeast—all things one expects from a wine that’s three times the price. As the staff notes below will attest, we loved this Yarra Valley white for its precision, clarity, and inviting approach. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better Chardonnay in the sub-$20 category that’s as so universally adored. This makes it the perfect pick for the upcoming holidays, but really, it’s an excellent choice any time of the year given its versatility. It’s hardly surprising Helen’s Hill has been a best-selling brand for several years running. With a price-to-points ratio like this, there’s absolutely no reason not to give this 2018 a spin. If you like Chardonnay with a Burgundian sensibility, but also with a touch of new-world flair, you’ll be well served by picking up this sensational white.

Staff Image

2018 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria ($14.99)

94 points James Halliday: "Selective-harvested, pressed to French puncheons (10% new) for primary (wild) ferment on solids, 20% mlf, 11 months in barrel with occasional batonnage. Fruit-driven, with good varietal expression (grapefruit, green apple) and bright acidity. The screwcap guarantees 5 years accumulation of complexity without loss of fruit freshness." (08/2019)

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 28, 2019

Helens Hill continues to be one of our best-value producers. What I love about them is the fact that even their under $20 wines have all the same care and attention to detail that youd find in some finest wines out there. All the fruit is sourced from their Ingram Road Estate vineyard. Grapes are hand-harvested, and barrel fermented with 100% native yeast. The nose here is soft and supple elements of lemon curd and stone fruits. On the palate, the wine is full and rich with just a hint of soft spice. The acidity has drive all the way to the finish, creating a full bodied, but incredibly balanced chardonnay. This is an impeccably crafted wine that is an absolute steal. With Burgundian inspiration, but new world character, serve this at a party and everyone will be raving.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2019

You'd be hard pressed to find a better value Chardonnay in the whole store. Part of me wishes these wines would stay under the radar so they can remain at this unbelievable price, and part of me wants to scream from the rooftops what a killer deal these are. Bright and fresh with just a supple touch of roundness from the oak usage. There is nothing I don't like about this wine.

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2019

Another delicious wine from Helen's Hill! This Chardonnay has always been one of my favorites. Supple, medium bodied, juicy, and fresh, with lemon meringue pie-like notes, lemon curd and Meyer lemon zest. Easy to approach, yet with plenty of nuances. Great on its own as well as an accompaniment to Dungeness crab.

Staff ImageAlex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 25, 2019

I had to do a double-take. Single vineyard Aussie Chardonnay for $15!? Aromas of Meyer lemon, vanilla, and toasted sourdough let you know right away that this wine is a far cry from the mass-produced unoaked Chardonnays of the same price range. On the palate, the wine has a lovely lanolin texture and rich fruit, while staying light on its feet and bright from the wonderful acidity. The finish is long, and even has hints of minerals. Unbelievable quality-to-price ratio.

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 24, 2019

A fun sipper for warm weather! Bright lemon and ripe orchard fruits cradled by a lovely touch of vanilla, backed by a great acidic structure that will leave you wanting more.