Stay in touch with the latest news and happenings at Vasse Felix, in Margaret River and on tour around the world.
Ray Jordan (The West Australian Wine Guide) has awarded the 2015 Heytesbury Chardonnay White Wine of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Ray Jordan's annual wine guide released in early November includes reviews on six of our wines including the 2015 Heytesbury Chardonnay receiving the award White Wine of the Year.
"With this exceptional chardonnay Virginia Willcock and the team have taken things to an altogether new plane of excellence. The degree of palate complexity and intensity combined with how it delivers through to a long finish is brilliant. A modern chardonnay with underlying Margaret River power."
2015 Heytesbury Chardonnay - 98 Points
Oh my, this is seriously good. The chardonnays at Vasse Felix have been on the up for a number of years but it's hard to remember a better one. Such intensity, such power and yet such elegance and poise. The fruit is expressed with equisite precision on the palate with the pristine nectarine and crunchy lemony pear and subtle grapefruit a compelling combination. A smidgeon of toasty oak completes a stunning wine.
2015 Chardonnay - 96 Points
Thoroughly beautiful expression of Margaret River that shows the continuing evolution for this variety at Vasse Felix. It's restrained and almost delicate, yet there is still all that underlying Margaret River intensity that drives through to the finish. Great texture and mouthfeel with a lively mix of nectarine and subtler stone fruit all perfectly harnessed with an exquisite touch of oak.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon - 96 Points
Cabernet, like chardonnay has been a particular focus for Vasse Felix. This is a special wine from a special vintage. Elegance and refinement personified. Leafy floral notes on the nose. But it is the palate that really sings. It's relatively tight with a core of fine oak and firmish silky tannins, but there is sweet fleshy fruit held with focus that extends effortlessly to the finish.
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon - 95 Points
A blend that takes the usual fare for this combo to another plane of excellence. Superb aromatics of honeysuckle, tropical fruit and subtle lemon stone fruit. The palate is just beautiful with deep complexity and flavour. The fruit is still dominant but there are other factors at play which elevate this. Finishes crisp and precise.
2015 Filus Chardonnay - 91 Points
Pure and vibrant expression of chardonnay at what is the entry level for Vasse Felix these days. Crunchy with a vibrant minerality and pristine fruit definition. Such fine delicate lines persistent through to the long finish.
2014 Filius Cabernet Sauvignon - 94 Points
What a stunning cabernet for the price. This is now the third tier behind the Marg cabernet and the Heytesbury, but in some ways that does it a disservice because it is a good wine. Tightly focused and structured in classic cabernet style. Leafy black fruit with a dusty cedary influence. Very good wine.
As the release date of the 2013 Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec inches closer, we delve deeper into the history behind this special Margaret River blend.
The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec has evolved into a Margaret River specialty. Interestingly, at Vasse Felix the blend dates back to the first Cabernet that was made in 1972.
Malbec isn't the easiest of varieties to grow. In fact, many producers in Bordeaux pulled it out of their vineyards in the 1950s due to frost and disease pressures. In the wine paradise that is Margaret River, Malbec can survive and reach clean, perfect ripeness.
Reaching that balance is a game of patience and understanding. big, plump berries with a fleshiness about them can present at an early stage, however if picked too early make empty and weak wine parcels. When ripened to full potential, the Malbec has unrivalled depth, concentration and strucure.
In the finished wine, Malbec brings hints of mulberry and charcuterie with an additional juiciness through the mid-palate adding a subtle, yet important dimension to our Cabernet.
Vasse Felix, Margaret River's founding wine estate was established by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity in 1967. Among his first plantings were Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec vines, from which he produced the estate's first red wine. The 2013 Tom Cullity descends from these original vines from Vasse Felix's Home Vineyard in Wilyabrup.
Fashion meets furniture meets wine at Hub Furniture's launch of 'Dressed by Moroso'.
'Dressed by Moroso' was a collaboration where seven top Australian designers upholstered two iconic Moroso chairs.
Hub Furniture was also the source of much of the beautiful furniture in our recent Estate refurbishment.
One of our favourite annual sell-out events; Yum Cha at Vasse Felix returned for 2016 on Sunday 16th October.
The Vasse Felix Art Gallery (home to the celebrated Janet Holmes à Court Collection) was transformed into an Asian inspired Yum Cha restaurant complete with lanterns, dragons, chopsticks and lazy susans.
Yum Cha (literally translating to 'drinking tea' in Cantonese) is a Chinese style shared brunch involving drinking tea and eating small dim sum dishes.
Each year, Chef Aaron Carr demonstrates his flair and expertise for cooking fresh, modern dishes incorporating Eastern flavours and techniques with locally sourced produce.
This year's menu included kingfish, mussels in broth, scallop gyoza and fresh rice paper rolls as well as a menu standouts - satay chicken hearts, Fremantle octopus and crispy skin Peking duck.
Accompanying the ten courses of dim sum, was the Vasse Felix 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. For the first time in Yum Cha at Vasse Felix history, diners were also invited to enjoy the 2015 Filius Chardonnay. Both wines perfectly complemented Aaron's diverse menu.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Yum Cha in 2017!
In collaboration with Living Edge, Vasse Felix wines were on display and available for tasting as part of the 2016 Contemporary Wine In Design event.
Design-lovers from across the state, the country and the world, flocked to Perth in hot pursuit of the latest and greatest in architecture and design. The conversation piece 'Libreria del Vino' displayed at Living Edge (Northbridge showroom) featured Vasse Felix 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Chardonnay to demonstrate this unique wine storage solution. Event attendees marvelled at the customisable laser cut iron display unit, while enjoying our current vintage Filius wines.
The first half of 2016 has seen Vasse Felix Restaurant named in three publications’ top Australian restaurant picks for 2016/17.
Announced in May 2016, Vasse Felix Restaurant was named in the Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) Top Restaurants for 2016 as one of only five other restaurants from Western Australia. Of those five, we were the only regional restaurant listed. These awards are unique as the votes are cast by the chefs and restaurateurs themselves, with each restaurant in the Top 500 being individually contacted and their votes cast.
In August, Vasse Felix Restaurant was included in The Australian’s Hot 50 Restaurant Awards 2016. We were honoured to be named alongside our friends at Wildflower - where our 2014 Chardonnay and Black Label Blanc de Blanc feature on their wine list. Again, we were the the only regional Western Australian restaurant to be included, and one of only three restaurants in WA to make the Top 50 list.
The Gourmet Traveller - Australian Restaurant Guide Awards 2017 saw Vasse Felix Restaurant pick up a 1 Star rating which translates to "a restaurant with an element of sparkle as well as professionalism that raise it beyond the everyday". We were also named Number 1 in Regional Western Australia for our efforts, being described as "a bona-fide attraction in its own right" and the "perfect accompaniment to the equally progressive handiwork of winemaker Virginia Willcock."
Aaron Carr and the team continue to create incredible dishes which showcase the extraordinary array of local produce available in Western Australia, in ways that challenge and delight visitors from around Australia and the world.
A truly Western Australian celebration of food and wine at Como, the Treasury's Wildflower restaurant.
Executive Chef Aaron Carr and Wildflower's Chef Jed Gerrard collaborated to create a five course dinner featuring the best of Western Australian produce, paired perfectly with wines from Margaret River's founding wine Estate.
Set against a backdrop of sweeping views over the Swan River, menu offerings included South West marron, dry aged lamb, and Davidson plum.
James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion 2017 has officially been announced, with both Vasse Felix Heytesburys receiving a score of 97 Points.
"The leader of a great trio of Vasse Felix Chardonnays. A magical combination of grace and power." (2014 Heytesbury Chardonnay)
"The icon red of Vasse Felix, a remarkable medium-bodied wine." (2012 Heytesbury)
The Halliday Wine Companion, recognised as the industry benchmark for Australian wine is eagerly anticipated year after year for winemakers and wine lovers alike.
James Halliday's Reviews:
2012 HEYTESBURY - 97 Points
The icon red of Vasse Felix, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot, bypassing merlot. The perfumed bouquet stands on its own considerable merits, but it is the implacable insistence of the blackcurrant fruit, wrapped around the juicy malbec, that lifts this wine onto another plane. Is it medium-bodied, medium to full-bodied or full-bodied? It all depends on which facet you concentrate on, but for my money, it’s a remarkable medium-bodied wine.
2014 HEYTESBURY CHARDONNAY - 97 Points
The leader of a great trio of Vasse Felix Chardonnays, hand-picked, chilled, basket-pressed to French barriques (64% new), with some natural, although unintended, mlf, barrel sorting after maturation is the key. Here energy and drive are easily matched by the complexity that is the ever-present fingerprint of Heytesbury. A magical combination of grace and power, with prodigious length to close.
2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON - 95 Points
Interesting, very interesting. The colour, the freshness of the aromas and flavours, the fi nely sculpted tannins and the overall harmony suggest 13.5% alcohol, not 14.5%. All this conjecture is, of course, irrelevant: it is the outcome that matters here a distillation of elegance.
2014 CHARDONNAY - 95 Points
Hand-picked, chilled and whole bunch-pressed, cloudy juice to 50% new French barriques for fermentation and 9 months maturation. This is more about complexity than single-minded energy, and suggests some accidental mlf may have formed a part of the blend assembled at the end of maturation. It is rich with cashew, fig and white peach fruit seamlessly flowing through the palate.
2014 'FILIUS' CHARDONNAY - 94 Points
The entry point for Vasse Felix, hand-picked, chilled and whole bunch-pressed, cloudy juice to 21% new French barriques for wild fermentation and maturation for 9 months. Throws down the gauntlet with its mouthwatering energy and power. Its acidity guarantees it will thrive in bottle, but there is a strong argument to say it is as ready as it will ever be right now.
2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC SEMILLON - 94 Points
57/43%. The undergrowth of herb, grass and capsicum to the canopy of gently tropical fruits produces a complex wine, delicately pointing to the 20% fermented in new French oak and matured there for 14 weeks.
2013 SHIRAZ - 94 Points
Let no one doubt the potential of this wine, but I was slightly surprised that the tannins weren't polished a little more? This has a slightly savoury shroud to its flavours. Or did I jump before I looked, for there is also a pepper/licorice/earth component that is very attractive.
2015 CLASSIC DRY WHITE - 93 Points
One of these days Vasse Felix may put a foot wrong, but the odds against it are prohibitive. The harmony and seamless fusion of snow pea, Meyer lemon, passionfruit and built-in acidity are all precisely proportioned. Drink now or in 5 years: your choice. Semillon leads (62%), with 35% sauvignon blanc and 3% chardonnay.
2014 CLASSIC DRY RED - 92 Points
Strikes that lovely balance between serious complexity and fruit-filled sunshine. Its red fruits flirt with black, but are only teasing; it plays the same game with oak and tannins. Great value..
The Vasse Felix Wine Collection was showcased alongside five exquisite courses at Bistro Guillaume on 30th August 2016, as part of Crown Melbourne’s prestigious Wine Dinner Series.
With similarities noted between Vasse Felix wines of Margaret River and those of the Bordeaux region in France, Bistro Guillaume provided the perfect setting to see these similarities come alive and celebrate Australian wine.
Blanc De Blancs was served on arrival with canapes, followed by current vintage Sauvignon Semillon Blanc, Chardonnay and Heytesbury Chardonnay for the first and second courses.
The third course of braised Waygu brisket, bone marrow, Paris mash and merlot sauce was paired with current vintage Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a back vintage favourite - 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.
To finish, a selection of cheeses were served with a 2008 Heytesbury.
Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock was present on the night to discuss the wines and Margaret River terroir in more detail, and guide diners through the collection as each course was served.
This year's Margaret River Region Cabernet Tasting featured over 50 local producers and 100 barrel samples of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2015 vintage.
The annual Cabernet Tasting invites all Margaret River producers to submit unfinished barrel samples from the previous vintage. A variety of technical information is provided for each sample including where it in the Margaret River region it was grown, the clone and age of the vines, the type of yeast used for fermentation and type of oak used for maturation.
With all this information and samples at their fingertips, winemakers and viticulturists are able to examine different techniques for making great Cabernet in Margaret River, thus enabling all producers to continue to make even better wines each year.
And as for the 2015 vintage? It's looking like another great year for Cabernet Sauvignon in Margaret River. More details on that soon.
View a video from this year's event here.