This wine expresses the distinct regional profile of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon and the site characters it takes from the Vasse Felix vineyards, with a focus on Wilyabrup. It was the first red wine produced in Margaret River and has been made every year since 1972. Cabernet is a robust variety, ideally suited to Margaret River's climate and deep, well-drained soils.
An exceptionally dry Spring resulted in small balanced canopies and early development stages. A very warm Summer with timely rainfall around veraison was followed by rapid ripening to an early vintage. Whites were harvested in a very short time frame though retained good acid. Reds were early but slowed a little with milder conditions in March, resulting in excellent quality reds.
"Chief winemaker Virginia Willcock has just been nominated as "Winemaker of the Year" in Wine Enthusiast magazine US' 2014 Wine Star Awards - one sip of this and you'll understand why. Scented with menthol, eucalypt, blackberry and spicy blackcurrant notes, in the mouth this cabernet has ripe, yet restrained dark fruit. It is seductively succulent and velvety yet has poise, presence and elegant bayleaf and pepper characters on the finish. It's attainably sexy and a wine that will work the room to your advantage."
I thought the 2010 was the best Vasse cabernet I had tasted. Hmm, this one gives it a real run for its money. Tasted well before release but already showing tremendous fruit concentration, albeit held in a tight oak and tannin grip. Structurally superb with tight, controlled lines through to a very long classically cabernet finish. Leafy black olive and light tobacco aromas with a seamless palate. Cracking good wine.
Composed of 93.87% Cabernet Sauvignon with 5.18% Malbec and dashes each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon was aged 16 months in French oak, 43% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it offers a very good intensity of pencil lead, cloves and dried Mediterranean herbs notes over a core of cassis and wild blueberries. Medium-bodied, it has a solid backbone of medium to firm chewy tannins and crisp acid supporting the taut, muscular fruit and finishing long. Delicious now, it should cellar to 2018+.