Vasse Felix Chardonnay – 2022 Vintage

Vasse Felix Chardonnay – 2022 Vintage

Barry Weinman

17th March 2024

I recently wrote about the superb Tom Cullity Cabernet/Malbecs from Vasse Felix and the great passion the viticultural and winemaking teams have for cabernet sauvignon and malbec. If anything, their passion for chardonnay is even greater, reaching an almost reverential nature.

Speak to Paul Holmes a Court about chardonnay and you will find his excitement most infectious. Whether it is the Heytesbury, Premier or humble Filius he gets a sparkle in his eye and his enthusiasm becomes almost palpable.

With the talented Virginia Wilcock constantly finessing the style in the winery searching for ever finer expressions of Margaret River Chardonnay, the results are outstanding.

But it is important not to understate the impact that Bart Molony and the team have in the vineyard. The estate has over 100 hectares of chardonnay vineyards spread across the region, which has allowed the selection, over time, of the best sites and clones from which to produce the various styles, including providing fruit for Vasse Felix’s ambitious sparkling wine program.

The opportunity that the diverse vineyard sites provides is perfectly displayed in the DHJ1 Chardonnay. The fruit for this wine comes from a single plot from the coolest part of the Wallcliffe region which, in 2022, produced such high quality fruit, albeit in a different style to what makes up the rest of the range, that it was decided to produce a stand alone wine.

Clearly different in style to the Premier and Heytesbury, but no less worthwhile.

If you get the opportunity, try the DHJ1 alongside one of these wines to see the differences for yourself. It is a fascinating experience.

And the 2022 Heytesbury is a star!


Vasse Felix – Chardonnay – 2022.

Pristine fruit is what this wine is all about. Fine and elegant, with excellent mouthfeel. The winemaking is quite superb, the texturing oak and barrel work adding depth and impact without detracting from the stone fruit notes. The finish has excellent length and persistence. What impressed me most about this wine was how it continued to develop depth and power over 2-3 days after opening. An excellent wine in its own right and good value to boot. 84% Gingin clone/16% Bernard clones 95, 96 and 76. 8 months in oak (44% new), 13% alc, 94pts – $45.

Vasse FelixDHJ1 – Chardonnay – 2022.

A very fine and elegant wine. The fruit is more in the grapefruit/melon spectrum than stone fruit, . The mouthfeel is silky and supple and the palate transition is totally seamless. What sets this apart is that the final wine is much more than the sum of its parts. The entire package is restrained and fine, yet the end result is a wonderful wine that is full of life and energy. Good now, but will be even better in 5 years. Gingin clone, 8 months in 1-3 y/o oak, 12.5% alc, 95pts – $75.

Vasse FelixHeytesbury – Chardonnay – 2022.

Taut and fine, this is a model of restraint initially. But don’t be fooled by first impressions, this is a wine of great intensity, depth and flavour. Intense, peach-like stone fruit characters dominate the nose, whilst the palate adds citrus notes to the mix. The oak and winemaking inputs are, somewhat magically, invisible and impactful at the same time, conferring a sense of power and gravitas to the wine without impeding the flow of the fruit. The acid drive is a highlight, whilst the length and persistence are impeccable. A graceful, elegant wine that will be at its peak for a decade to come. Gingin Clone, 8 months in oak (56% new), 13%alc, 96pts – $120.