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.
Moderate spring temperatures accompanied by low solar radiation and cool soil conditions contributed to slower vine growth and increased disease pressure. Thankfully, a consistently warm and dry summer ensured clean canopies and another early start to the white harvest. Rapidly cooling weather in March allowed extended ripening time for the reds and more traditional harvest timing through late March into April.
Toast of the Town - 97 Points
Now ranked securely among the region's great cabernets. This is clearly one of the finest and shows the continuing focus on refinement and elegance while retaining all that inherent deep power and flavour intensity that is Margaret River cabernet. Strikes a superb oak and fruit balance knitted together with fine-grained oak. A little leaf, a little black olive and some wonderful blackcurrant fruits are so compelling.
The stylishness of this wine is outstanding. It's gentle on the nose, with smells coming in soft waves, rather than a full-on assault, as some wines present. In the mouth it is pure beauty from first sip to final swallow. It's drinking well now but will cellar for several years if correctly stored. An easy 96 points and it's cheap in its segment.
Interesting, very interesting. The colour, the freshness of the aromas and flavours, the finely sculpted tannins and the overall harmony suggest 13.5% alcohol, not 14.5%. All this conjecture, of course, irrelevant: it is the outcome that matters here is a distillation of elegance. (Drink to 2028).
Vasse Felix made the first Cabernet Sauvignon in Margaret River in 1972 and this wine has been made every year since. It captures varietal character while also articulating the signature of the Wilyabrup sub-region with its mostly gravelly loam soils and sea breezes that cool and lengthen ripening. Batch-vinification takes place in static and open-fermenters. Some components are given extended maceration lasting up to 35 days on skins. The wine is matured in French oak barriques (of which 40 to 55% are new), for 15 to 18 months. This superb wine shows intense cranberry and blackcurrant aromas, cedary complexity, plenty of fruit sweetness and lacy tannin structure. Many vintages also include small percentages of Malbec, and on rare occasions Merlot, Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc, to create complexity, balance, buoyancy and freshness.