Vasse Felix Chardonnay is typified by its bright, elegant fruit, subtle wild complexities and a tight acid structure, reflecting the vibrancy and purity of this variety in Margaret River. 'Filius' translates to 'son of' in Latin, reflecting the relationship between this wine and its premier 'father'.
Similar to the previous season, the 2018 vintage experienced cooler than average conditions. Spring and early Summer delivered intermittent cool then moderate weeks before a run of below average temperatures in January and February. Late January rain led to a fear of disease, however a beautiful period of ripening followed with ample sunshine and strong daily sea breezes preserved vibrant fruit flavours and acidity. Our white varieties ripened with ideal sugar levels and high malic acid content for the third year running, resulting in a desire to allow some natural malolactic ferment in Chardonnays. Meanwhile the reds ripened slowly and gently through a dry Autumn ensuring fully developed tannins and a slightly riper and fleshier fruit profile to 2017.
Oh boy, this is a seriously good Chardonnay for one selling for less than $30 a bottle. There is complexity and structure at a most sophisticated level. Grapefruit and lemon zest on the nose with a minerally edge. The palate has a juiciness with intense, focused fruit. Beautifully balanced with subtle understated oak. The whole thing has energy.
Lightish straw-yellow colour with a smoky, toasty oak-tinged bouquet of power and character. Lovely grapefruity intensity in the mouth, bright and energetic, citrusy and penetrating. A terrific wine, showing liberal oak but balanced by powerful fruit which lingers on. Slight phenolic bitterness is simply a reminder to have it with food. Great value for money.
The entry point into the Vasse Felix range of Chardonnays, one that less well endowed producers would happily present as their icon. Balance is the key, all the components in the right place at the right time. White peach, rock melon, apple and grapefruit all in harmonious balance, oak incidental.
Virginia Willcock selects less concentrated lots of chardonnay from Vasse Felix’s estate vineyards for Filius, fermenting them with ambient yeasts and limiting the new oak. Her 2018 is cool and zesty, the juicy nectarine flavors integrated with a little spicefrom oak tannins and lasting with leesy length. Pour it with a crayfish boil.