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2017 Filius Cabernet Merlot

‘Son of’ the Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon. This regional blend incorporates more delicate fruit from each of the Vasse Felix Vineyards. Generous portions of Merlot contribute to a succulent wine with approachable tannins.


Tasting Notes
Colour Ruby red hue. Nose Fragrant Australian dry forest aromas are complemented by notes of gravelly earth, redcurrant, satsuma plum, liquorice, black olive skin, mocha and a subtle hint of toasted cedar. Palate Elegant and medium bodied, the wine displays a concentration of blackberry fruit at its core, enveloped by a twiggy, savoury tannin succulence. A touch of graphite hints at the pure Cabernet line, while softer red fruit accents - courtesy of the Malbec and Merlot - lighten and brighten the palate.
Winemaker Notes
Winemaker's notes The individual batches were destemmed and sent as whole berries to fermenters where wild yeast residing on the fruit conducted the primary fermentation. Cabernet parcels underwent a suitable duration of maceration so as extract a fine backbone of structural tannins and blackcurrant laden fruit. Merlot and Malbec were pressed off skins earlier to maintain a soft luscious mouth feel. The resulting wines were matured in fine French oak for 12 months prior to blending, with limited racking to help preserve the delicate wild characters captured in this low intervention approach.
Production Notes
80.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11.2% Merlot, 8.5% Malbec
Alcohol %
Cellaring Potential:
Now until 2024
Harvest Date
March-April 2017
French Oak Barrique, 6% new, 94% 1-5 year old, 12 months average
Residual Sugar:
Residual Sugar
Bottling Date
July 2018
Vintage Notes

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.

2017 Filius Cabernet Merlot
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  • 92 points

    James Halliday Wine Companion 2020

    This has substantial texture and structure, and there is a wealth of delicious red and black fruits filling all the gaps. Give it a year or two and all the components will be united.