It's been a busy time in the Winery as we finish off the Chardonnay vintage, with last week marking the whole bunch press of our final parcels of 2021 Gingin clone Chardonnay.
Whole bunch press forms a key part of the Vasse Felix Chardonnay style, allowing us to achieve the high solids that contribute such beautiful savoury complexities to the final wine.
Gently hand picked fruit is chilled and then whole bunch pressed to create free run juice with the perfect soilds contribution. The magic of getting the right amount solids lies in carefully breaking a small number of berries to stimulate the start of maceration, before transferring the unclarified juice to fine French oak for wild fermentation.
With warm, sunny mornings and cooling afternoon sea breeze off the Indian Ocean, our Cabernet vines are supported to preserve their vibrant fruit characters on the long journey to tannin ripeness, creating beautiful Cabernet at every level.
The 2021 Chardonnay harvest began last week with the team handpicking in our Gnarawary Blocks at the Boodjidup Vineyard, just south of Margaret River town.
Harvest has continued in all four of our Margaret River vineyards, including our Home Vineyard (pictured below) while in the Winery the team carefully press and transfer the beautifully crisp, ripe Chardonnay to French oak for wild fermentation.
This is a particularly exciting vintage for us as it is the first harvest where two of our vineyards, Adams Road and Karridale, are officially certified organic! The remainder of our Vineyard collection, Home Vineyard and Boodjidup Vineyard, is completing the ‘in conversion’ period, with official certification expected very soon.
In the lead up to harvest, our viticulture team regularly bring in samples of fruit from all four of our Margaret River vineyards for the Winery team to measure, among other things, the Baumé - sugar and ripeness - of our fruit and thus the progress of the ripening journey.
This is how key decisions are made on when and where we will next be harvesting - which blocks are perfectly ripe and which need just that little extra time on vine.
Checking on the progress of our young Tom's Block Chardonnay vines at the Home Vineyard.
These young blocks have been receiving a little extra attention in the lead-up to harvest in the form of weeding, water monitoring and fertigation - delivering a combination of organic fertilisers to the vine root system through our irrigation lines.
We look forward to seeing the fruits of our labour this coming vintage.
Our fresh new French oak barriques have arrived in the Winery and none too soon, with Chardonnay harvest expected to kick off next week.
Sourced from 150-180 year old trees in France and aged for approx. 34 - 46 months with exposure to the elements, the subtlety of this French oak perfume is a perfect match to the elegance and finesse of our Margaret River fruit.
The 2017 Filius Cabernet Sauvignon has been making quite a stir with US wine critics, featuring at #46 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 late last year and most recently in the Wall Street Journal's article on 'Where to find the Best Cabernets for $25 [USD] and Under'.
The 2018 vintage, widely accepted to be one of Margaret River's best Cabernet vintages in recent years, is now available. Explore the 2018 Filius Cabernet Sauvignon here.
Peruse the reviews below or follow the links to see the full selections.
*Please note the Wall Street Journal article is subscriber access only.
"Firm, showing off the region's signature fresh herbal notes, which give this aromatic lift and linger on the finish. Bay leaf, rosemary and cedar details are effortlessly infused into the cassis and plum flavors. A hint of black tea adds to the complexity, as does the seamlessness of the velvety tannins. Drink now through 2035."
Where to Find the Best Cabernets for $25 and Under | 2017 Filius Cabernet Sauvignon
"Filius is the entry-level Cabernet from Vasse Felix, the founding wine estate in Margaret River, Australia. The wine is well structured with firm tannins and great purity of fruit, unmasked by excessive oak."