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.
Dense, small black berries, baking spices, aniseed, tobacco and choc-mint. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, fine cocoa powder tannin, savoury yet fruit sweet, perfumed and long. Ripper release.
94 points, The Wine Front (February 2020)
Deep red/purple colour, with a crushed leafy aroma with violet and cedar-cigarbox notes. There is some astringency but the wine is very much a cabernet. Lovely wine in a fairly firm, pointed style, which needs time and will richly reward cellaring.
94 points, The Real Review (January 2020)
This has intense redcurrants and hints of red licorice with a cedary edge to the nose, too. The palate unfurls a very smoothly layered and structured take on elegantly powerful cabernet with a fresh, mouthwatering ride to the juicy, red-fruit finish.
94 points, JamesSuckling.com (March 2020)
Sure it has the exuberance of youth, but this will age gracefully. Full of raspberries and currants with a cranberry tang alongside menthol and oak playing a part, but not a lead role. Fine and poised tannins, although acidity is very much a driver this vintage, it's refreshing and lively. And like seasoning in cooking, the glug of malbec and petit verdot adds another dimension.
95 points, Wine Companion (January 2020)
2017 epitomises the Vasse Felix style of impressive, ripe presence, framed in enduring structure and eloquently honed framework. Crunchy dark berries of concentrated intensity are impeccably supported by intricately deployed oak and super-fine.
95 points, WBM
Dollar for dollar, this is the best value cabernet released in the State. This is a more restrained wine which reflects the cooler vintage. Blackcurrant and light cedar with a hint of graphite on the nose. The palate is medium-weight with an effortless integration of fine-grained tannins and oak working harmoniously into a single structural purpose. Slightly savoury finish which is focused and long. A stylish cabernet.
95 points, The West Australian
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