Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines 2022/2023
We are thrilled to have been featured in Matthew Jukes' 100 Best Australian Wines 2022/23. The 17th edition of the report featured our 2020 Heytesbury Chardonnay, with an honourable mention of our 2018 TOM CULLITY Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec. Ten percent of the wines featured in the report were from Margaret River, featuring producers, Howard Park, Robert Oatley, Leeuwin Estate, McHenry Hohnen, Xanadu, Moss Wood, and Cullen, who dominated in the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Friends categories.
Dedicated breakaway Blanc de Blancs house, Idée Fixe received a debut feature in the report too, with the full review available here.
2020 Vasse Felix, Heytesbury Chardonnay, Margaret River
Sourced from the Home and Garawary Vineyards, this is an even finer Heytesbury than the phenomenal 2012 vintage (a personal favourite of mine that still looks ravishing) and with thrilling weight and incredible balance, given the silkiness of the fruit, this is a desperately delicious wine. I questioned Vasse owner Paul Holmes à Court about his oak regime and he cooly explained that they, “pay more for oak that does less, quietly and for longer”. I love this expression and it simply explains why this is such a mesmerising wine. It is unusually forward (2020 is a fairly warm vintage), superb throughout, layered, complex and stunningly calm. Having the benefit of being able to blend fruit from both the Wilyabrup and Wallcliffe wards, the detail in this wine is truly memorable. It is among the very finest in the land. Talking of fine wine, 2018 Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec (£113, 14.5%, www.harrowgatefinewinecompany.co.uk) is a landmark vintage for this incredible wine. Made from fruit taken from the dry-grown, organically certified Home Vineyard, which was planted in 1967 by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity’s mass selection clones, there is a Calon-Ségur-like graphite edge to this majestic red that brings a certain coolness to the exuberant fruit. There is perfect balance from the off and considering it is a young wine, the texture, tannins and acidity are already in awesome harmony. This is a wine that is extremely proud of its tannic footprint, because from these unshakable foundations winemaker Virginia Willcock has built a towering wine. While we all adore top-flight Margaret River Cabernet, and there are a good few mentioned in this Report, this is not simply a Cabernet Sauvignon, because 17.5% Malbec and 4.5% Petit Verdot are allowed into this wine to give it a completely different complexion to all others. These two opinionated red grapes add flower notes and earthy characters that Cabernet does not possess in its armoury and this makes Tom Cullity a fascinating and also uniquely compelling wine.