Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River
Virginia has added Malbec and Petit Verdot to the wine to this classic Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. The Malbec lifts the Cabernet while the Petit Verdot adds a botanical fragrance to the wine, all creating layers of complexity.
The fruit comes from small parcels close to the temperature regulating coast in the northern end of Margaret River. The soils are gravelly and well drained, and the vines work hard through the long ripening period to produce pure, varietal wines.
“Captures the elegance of this great vintage. Doesn't have the density and opulence of the 2014 but there is classic angular structure. Typical graphite, soy and savoury notes with a hint of tobacco leaf with black olive nuance. Classy oak integration and fine-grained tannins. One of the very finest that marks the next statement of Vasse Felix Cabernet. Ridiculously cheap for a wine of this quality. Best drinking: Now to 2030”
97 points, Ray Jordan
“A medium weight cabernet to show more bulkier renditions a clean set of heals. This is a smashing way to present cabernet. Energetic and bright yet fluid and soft. It boasts just enough weight, and power, to build good momentum through the palate but at no point does it press too hard, or for too much. Bay leaf, black olive and blackcurrant flavours are the main conveyors here. Tannin is a light sheet through the back half of the wine. The touch is light, the effect dramatic.”
95 points, Campbell Mattinson, winecompanion.com.au
Concentrated dark fruits with details of violets, spices, licorice, anise, dried herbs, with underlying blackberry. Full-bodied, deep and firm with good strong tannins and persistence. This will age superbly. (88% cabernet sauvignon, 9% malbec, 2% petit verdot, 1% merlot)
95 points, Huon Hooke (April 2018)
A superb wine and a great follow on from the 2014. Excellent regional expression with a mix of dark and red berries. The palate is intensely flavoured with a tight structure supported by a frame of fine tannin. Alongside the cabernet is around 9% malbec, plus a splash of petit verdot, which both contribute to the depth and complexity of the wine. I adore its composure and gentle underlying savouriness.
95 points, Toni Paterson MW (August 2018)
Located three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is Western Australia’s most prestigious wine-growing region. Serious vineyard development began only in the late 1960’s following the publication of a report by John Gladstones in 1965 stating that the area had a similar climate to Pomerol or St Emilion, with low frost risk, plenty of sunshine and equable temperatures within the growing season promoting even ripening. Margaret River’s climate is warm and maritime, with some cooling influence provided by southeast trade winds. The soils derive from granitic and a gneissic rock over which laterite has formed. The region can be divided in three sub-regions: the cooler south between Yallingup and Karridale with predominantly lateritic gravelly loamy sands and sandy loams; the warm and sunnier Willyabrup in the centre with predominantly gravelly loams, but some gritty sandy loams and granitic gravels; and Margaret River in the north with similar soils, but slightly cooler temperatures. This is entirely consistent with style; the wines from Willyabrup being more generous than the highly structured wines of the north and the elegant styles of the south. Margaret River is best known for high quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and top notch Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Over the years, the region has established an astonishing reputation illustrating a consistency in quality and a strongly focused winemaking culture.
Vasse Felix was the first commercial vineyard and winery to be established in Margaret River. The name is derived from Vasse (a French seaman who drowned last century while exploring the coastline on the ship Geographe under Captain Freycinet) and the French term for luck. Under the ownership of the Holmes a Court family Vasse Felix has carved an excellent reputation for its superbly made wines. The plush, intensely-flavoured and chocolaty Vasse Felix Heytesbury Cabernet Blend – a limited-release, best-of-vintage ‘Grand Vin’ – is a beacon of quality that is included in the Langton’s Classification. The Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, also Langton's-Classified, captures regional rather than site-specific characters. Of equal reputation are the exemplary Chardonnays, both the 'standard' Vasse Felix and the flagship Heytesbury. The Shiraz is also excellent. The entry-level Filius range -- a Chardonnay and a Cabernet-Merlot -- offers exceptional quality and value, as do the even more affordable 'ground-floor' duo of Classic Dry White (Semillon-Sauvignon) and Classic Dry Red (Shiraz-Cabernet). Andrew Caillard MW, Langton's