Vasse Felix New Releases for 2021.
Barry Weinman: 15th August 2021
Virginia Wilcox and the team at Vasse Felix could never be accused of resting on their laurels. Vintage after vintage, Vasse Felix has produced superb wines at all price points. Yet each year, they look to make incremental changes to try and elevate each wine just that little bit more.
Recent changes have included:
- Replanting/grafting portions of the vineyard to varieties and clones better suited to the location
- Moving away from Merlot in favour of Malbec as the main blending partner for Cabernet
- Purchasing established vineyards south of Margaret River
- Establishing a sparkling wine brand under the Idée Fixé label
But perhaps the biggest changes have occurred in winemaking techniques, particularly for Shiraz. In 2019, a portion saw carbonic maceration and whole bunch fermentation to capture the vibrancy of the cooler vintage wine.
And overall, the wines have never looked better!
Vasse Felix – Filius – Chardonnay – 2020. Ripe peach fruit the defining feature on the nose, with gentle oak and lees notes adding depth. The palate is savoury and quite complex, with subtle barrel ferment and lees characters and fine acidity complementing the fresh fruit notes. Excellent mouthfeel and texture to close. 93pts – $28
Vasse Felix – Filius – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2019. This is a beautiful wine, with balance, poise and elegance that belies its entry-level status in the Cabernet range. Supple, near seamless and very long, the fine berry fruit builds, supported by subtle, savoury oak. The tannins add gravitas, without diminishing the fruit. Superb drinking now, or in 5-10 years. 94pts – $29
Vasse Felix – Shiraz – 2019. Fine, elegant and refined with superb cool-climate fruit on show. The fruit is very pretty, but the textural, savoury notes elevate this to another level. Seamless and supple, the feathery tannins build on the finish adding depth. Age-worthy and good value. 95pts – $37.
Vasse Felix – Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold Capsule – 2018. This is serious, structured, taut and closed. But the quality of the fruit and winemaking shines through with air. Silky and fine, the supple blueberry fruit is perfectly balanced by fine acidity and texturing oak. The addition of 8% Petit Verdot adding structure. At its best in 20 years, but magnificent drinking after a couple of hours in the decanter. What more could you ask for? 95-96pts – $47.