It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of Vasse Felix wines. When I’ve got the money, Heytesbury chardonnay is my go-to chardonnay, when I don’t, the estate chardonnay still punches well above its weight and satisfies the urge for something concentated, minerally, and just a wee bit funky.
As for the Vasse cabernets…. well. They toe the line between silky and structured, plush and grippy, hedonistic and restrained. They’re great from the entry level Filius, right up to the Icon Tom Cullity. You can imagine my delight when the winery releases its next tranche of vintages as it has just done in June.
2015 Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon
87% Cabernet, 13% Malbec
“Handled like a top tier wine and priced like and entry level (got to love Vasse), the Filius this year has a whack of malbec in it. No complaints here. All parcels are picked and vinified individually, before being put to a year in French oak (13% new, and the remainder made up of 1-5 yr old). The large ‘older’ oak component tells you that the fruit is handled with kid gloves, not overpowered by the strong new oak characters. Made to drink now. A challenging spring in Margs led to yields being down for many varieties, although quality was very good (again). Ripe raspberry, blackcurrant, blackberry, black spice, eucalyptus, earth. Silky and plush. Love it, as usual. 92 points, $28”
2014 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon
90% cabernet, 8% malbec, 1% petite verdot, 1% merlot
“Made every year since its first vintage in 1972, this Vasse cabernet occupies the absolute sweet-spot for value. This is an incredible wine to drink now, but it is also age-worthy, meaning if you were to invest in this wine to cellar, you would be investing in your future joy, and in a future snapshot of Margaret River cabernet. Wise. This has a higher proportion of new French oak (40%), the rest being 1-4 years old, where it rests for 18 months. This is again, another serious release for Vasse, displaying a perfect balance between spice, ripe fruit, dusty/earthy spices and fine tannins. 95 points, $45”