Our white field-blend. Ilion is all of the late ripening white grapes that we grow… literally all. We have very small amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc on our vineyard, so every year all of the fruit goes has gone into a single product. Not the same single product in each of those years, but none-the-less a single product each year. The juice is pressed and sent direct to neutral oak barrels and then 8 months later it becomes a finished wine and we put it straight into bottles. The winemaker stirs it sometimes, and that is all. Lo-fi, low intervention. Wayward Child – the wines are left alone to tell the story of our farm
This is wine of two parts, but even more-so, it as a wine that has two stages. When the wine is first poured it is quite quite familiar. Given some time in contact with air Ilion morphs into a complex, subtle and nuanced wine. Perfect for the dinner table and capable of rewarding patience.
The aromatics and immediate flavour impressions are Sauvignon Blanc. Semillon’s influence is confined to the back palate and the after taste. The Sauvignon characters are more akin to a cleaner French version with the grape. That signifies the departure from heavy handed commercial productions as much as any geographic or cultural generalisations. It’s character? A big bit mineral… a little bit green… a fair bit passion-fruit or lemon-curd… and the tiniest bit funky. It’s good. It’s recognisable.
With a bit of time to breath the wine comes out of its’ shell. It’s more expressive on the nose. There is space separating the elements and the complexity becomes evident and the nuances are definable. What were “mineral notes” are identifiable as sea shell and gunpowder and iron. That “bit of stirring” from the winemaker extracts flavour from the yeast that shows vegetal, as sprouted seeds. The green notes now resemble grass, gooseberry, lavender and sencha. The popping brazen fruits of the former impression are more settled. Guava, ruby grapefruit, both juice and pith, and subtle lemongrass combines with a pleasant mineral firmness and ample acid gives shape and drives a long finish. The funk has gone, as though cleansed by an immersion in bath salts. A wild honey like aspect emerges suggesting a memory of flowers from which bees collect pollen.
Aromatics and nuance define the best wines from the Yarra Valley. We are proud to suggest that our Ilion 2020 is of this order.