The signature Cabernet Sauvignon of Vasse Felix. Crafted from Vasse Felix's premier sections of Wilyabrup Cabernet, with the finest gravel loam soils, best clone, aspect and access to the cooling ocean breeze. It was the first red wine produced in Margaret River and has been made every year since 1972. This wine's distinctive style possesses all the hallmarks of the finest Wilyabrup Cabernet.
2017 was a cooler and later vintage than the previous 10 years; a year of elegant, perhaps slightly lighter bodied wines, though ripe in flavour, vibrant and very perfumed. Higher than average yields in combination with a cooler season contributed to delayed ripening of the fruit and good acid retention. Some timely warmth and sunshine occurred throughout January, although February temperatures remained moderate with some rainfall. With the cooler weather, canopy management and fruit thinning was imperative to mitigate disease pressures and allow for even, persistent ripening. There was a warm start to March to finish the white harvest, followed by the driest April since 1982, finishing the reds beautifully.
Excellent - 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.
Sure it has the exuberance of youth, but this will age gracefully. Full of raspberries and currants with a cranberry tang alongside menthol and oak playing a part, but not a lead role. Fine and poised tannins, although acidity is very much a driver this vintage, it’s refreshing and lively. And like seasoning in cooking, the glug of malbec and petit verdot adds another dimension.
"..the wine delivers in a classic Cabernet kind of way. It’s not big, bold and showy – far from it. It’s taut, sinewy and firm like an olympic gymnast with lots of gravelly, blackcurrant fruits with that dried herb and sage edge. A bit shy now and made for the long haul but concentrated and structural – it will sing over time."
Winner - Best of Premium Red Wine
Our panel of experts found this wine intense yet elegantly structured, and quite extraordinary for its colour, unique aromatic structure freshness of flavours, finely sculpted tannins and overall harmony. Notes of blackcurrent and red cherry interwine with cedar and lavender. A vibrant palate displays raspberry, blackcurrent, wood spice and sweet tobacco leaf, leading into a rich volume of fine, extending tannins.