Penley Estate Helios Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
The Coonawarra region is a 16km strip comprising of iron and nutrient rich soil famously called terra rossa. One of the most renowned terroir soils in the world and known for its Cabernet in particular.
Here’s an introduction to Penley Estate’s Helios from the High Estate. Powerful yet restrained expression of cabernet sauvignon. Opens with a complex and dense nose of dark fruits, blackcurrants and black olive. The palate is driven by a core of succulent fruit and structural, focused tannins. Enhanced with light oak spices, a touch of bay and salty liquorice. This is a wine of incredible depth and finesse, setting a new benchmark for Coonawarra.
AWARD & ACCOLADES
The long, supple back-palate is very good.
– 94 POINTS
Fragrant, powerful and bold, offering a dense mix of star anise, black licorice and dark chocolate flavors, with details of candied ginger, mahogany and sarsaparilla, all mingling around a core of cassis and plum notes. The tannins are firm, but show a touch of velvet. The concentration and complexity gain momentum on the finish.
From what was initially lauded as an outstanding vintage for Coonawarra, Penley Estate’s 2018 Helios Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the first of the vintage’s top wines I’ve tasted from bottle. It doesn’t disappoint. Deep cassis fruit is accented by hints of cedar and exotic spices, including hints of cardamom and cinnamon. In the mouth, this medium-bodied wine is surprisingly airy and lithe with supple tannins. Not a conventional blockbuster, it’s built on elegance and silk, with bright fruit and acids and a crisp, focused finish. I suppose it will disappoint those looking for something Napa-esque, but it appears to take its cue from recent vintages of Wynn’s John Riddoch bottling, offering something more balanced and drinkable—and perhaps a truer reflection of Coonawarra Cabernet.