If popularity and sheer foot traffic were any indication, Helen & Joey, located at Gruyere , Yarra Valley, seem to have the Midas Touch.
Hugely popular with the so called ‘Millennials’, H&J boast stunning panoramic views of Coldstream and Gruyere, spanning 200 acres of vineyards, farmland and forests. The majestic Great Dividing Range adds a wonderful backdrop to the bucolic landscape.
Unicorns are the ‘shtick’ at Helen & Joey – very popular with the young ladies for photo opportunities.
Poor old Bruce – the most senior of the Unicorn Mob, is looking somewhat the worse for wear, after being mounted by numerous and multiple Hen’s Parties and other celebratory groups.
Unfortunately Bruce no longer always boasts his big red horn, as it has been displaced by the pressure brought to bear by the enthusiastic groping thereof.
We all hope, for Bruce’s sake, that his big red horn is permanently re-affixed as soon as unicornally possible.
Having one of the best and brightest winemakers in the Yarra Valley, if not Australia, Helen & Joey also make some pretty decent wines.
Senior Winemaker Meg Brodtmann was the first Australian female to attain the highest achievement in the international wine world – ‘Master of Wine’, in 2002.
Having studied under Meg to attain my W.S.E.T level 3 qualification – I can assure you that she is incredibly knowledgeable on anything to do with wine, both in Australia and internationally.
Wayward Child ‘Ilion’ – Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon – 2018
The juice from this field blend was pressed directly to large barrels, where it underwent wild yeast fermentation. It remained in oak for 9 months, ageing on yeast lees.
Deeper in colour than most blends of this kind, due to the 9 months resting in oak. There are complex floral aromas of lavender, and nougat, due to the influence of the yeast lees and wild ferment.
The palate displays soft, mouth filling notes of stone fruit and citrus. The flavours build, finishing with mouthwatering acidity. Even though the acids are prominent, they are soft and gentle, due to the lees contact and barrel ageing.
The yeasty / leesy note on the mid palate helps to round out the wine.
The Ilion pairs well with homemade vegetable and pearl barley soup. I make the vegie stock for the soup from scratch, so take it pretty seriously!
The Ilion is a beautifully balanced wine – and so different from most white blends from these grape varieties. There is a level of complexity and nuance due to the love and time given in the winery.
The Wayward Child Ilion 2018 is available at Helen & Joey Estate, and on line. It sells for $35 per bottle.
Official Score out of 100.