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2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

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.


Tasting Notes
COLOUR Deep Garnet. NOSE Exciting perfumes of blackcurrant and cranberry jam, roast turkey skin, smoked mushroom, nori, sage and wild penny royal herb mingle with hints of drying rose petal, a touch of peppermint tree, roasted coffee beans and ironstone. PALATE Juicy, succulent entrance with a plump core, slow building fine tannins and a soft stone-dry finish with persisting fragrance. Flavours of cranberry, blackcurrant and mushroom with light peppermint elevate the palate with lightness and power.
Winemaker Notes
WINEMAKER COMMENTS Our Cabernet parcels are grown in Wilyabrup, (the coastal, midnorthern area of Margaret River) on ancient, well drained gravel loam soils produce wines of great varietal purity and character. These wonderful, often tiny, vineyard sections are individually fermented using indigenous yeasts, with many experiencing maceration periods of up to 31 days. Natural fermentation and extended maceration are coupled with traditional oxidative handling to clearly define the intricate personality of each vineyard site before blending. Portions of Malbec complement and enhance the Cabernet profile while elevated perfumes and alternative fermentation of Petit Verdot bring a bright nuance.
Production Notes
86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot
Alcohol %
Cellaring Potential:
Now until 2031
Harvest Date
Mid-March to early April
French Oak Barrique 44% new, 56% 1-4 year old 19 months
Residual Sugar:
Residual Sugar
Bottling Date
December 2017
Vintage Notes


Dry warm spring conditions at the end of 2015 helped establish a healthy fruitset and better yields than the previous two seasons. January temperatures were warm, interrupted by one rainfall event late in the month, great viticulture management, clean, well trimmed canopies and subsequent warm weather prevented disease risk. White varieties were harvested throughout February with elegant flavours and bright natural acidity. January rain gave red varieties a timely drink and moderate long, dry conditions finished them with bright fruit and ripe tannins.

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
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  • Excellent - Langton's Classification VII

    Langton's Classification VII

    The historic, estate-grown Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon is the bellwether champion of the Margaret River region. Vasse Felix made the first cabernet sauvignon in Margaret River in 1972, and this wine has been made every year since. Comprised of cabernet sauvignon (88%) based primarily on Houghton clone material, this blend also often includes merlot, petit verdot or cabernet franc. Traditionally vinified and matured in new (40-55%) and seasoned French barriques for 16 to 18 months, it is an intensely fragrant style with blackcurrant, cedar and herb garden aromas, generous flavours and fine-grained tannins.

  • 97 points

    Ray Jordan

    Elegant and stylish, with grainy tannins and a touch of leafy oyster shell. Great oak and fruit integration, with a minerally purity. It's a most polished wine showing the increased wild fermentation contribution. Benefits from some old vine material that doesn't make the Cullity. 97/100. Best drinking: Now to 2035.

  • 95 points

    James Suckling

    A beautiful cabernet showing an array of fresh herbs, peppermint tea, incense, dark chocolate, coffee beans, tobacco leaves, juniper berries and then dried brambleberries and cedar. Dense and intricately woven, this trades in vibrant berries and savory undertones. Full-bodied, it meanders through cherries and sandalwood, before reaching a long, chewy finish. Drink in 2022.

  • 93 Points

    Gary Walsh - The Wine Front

    Seems 2016 was a good year for Cabernet Sauvignon in Margaret River. Peppermint chocolate, baking spices, dark fruits, sage. Full-bodied, dark chocolate flavour and grainy tannin, sage, even acidity, fleshy feel, slurry of tannin on a spicy finish of solid length.

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