I got to meet Jeanette from Iolana yesterday and the immediate impression was of a very serious winemaker with singular vision, experience and intent behind her work. A trained oenologist who has done a decade with high end winery Sea Smoke in Santa Barbara, she now resides in Wollongong, NSW, and immediately sought out the small but burgeoning wine community there. Luck had its way and a parcel of fruit from the Wily Trout Vineyard in Canberra District was hers. She wants to make just chardonnay and pinot noir – the focus is strong. These are the varieties that speak to her. Anyway, this is her debut Australian wine. The juice is oxidised, kept very cold, worked a bit. A long, slow cold fermentation occurred, malo happened naturally and then by virtue of nature, everything occurred and finished ‘where it should have’. Very careful winemaking is the motif.
It’s delicious. Has texture, a light vein of salted almond nuttiness, ripe apple and just-ripe nectarine characters. It’s very elegant, seamless in its way. Great carriage of chardonnay flavour, judicious oak and yet dials in all the other details of mineral, savoury, briny and creaminess of texture. And, delicious. So very delicious. What a striking debut! - The Wine Front