The quintessential Margaret River Chardonnay, made from a selection of Vasse Felix’s premier plots of powerful Chardonnay. Made in the modern Margaret River style of elegance, power and restraint, with the wild complexity which distinguishes Vasse Felix Chardonnay.
2020 was a warm vintage with low yields resulting in good quality. Spring development was early followed by a warm start to summer and continuing into fine sunny, dry conditions throughout the summer months. This, combined with lower yields, brought an early start to harvest. Happily, we experienced minimal bird pressure due to the timely arrival of Marri Blossom and there was no disease pressure. Following the completion of white harvest, a rainfall event in late February provided a timely drink for the reds. Bird pressure increased resulting in the netting of our red varietals. The faster ripening period combined with lower yields led to incredible concentration in our red varietals, with substantial tannins and rich fruit flavour.
This may well be the best Vasse Felix chardonnay yet, setting aside Heytesbury of course. This was an outstanding early vintage in Margaret River, with low yields and fantastic quality. It was 100% barrel fermented using only indigenous yeasts with full solids impact in the wine. It was matured in French oak for 10 months, followed by another 7 months harmonising on lees in tank before bottling. Winemaker Virginia Willcock sources from a number of vineyard sites, mostly with the Gingin clone although this year about 22% Bernard clone was added. There’s a chalky bony character here which really gives the wine definition. At the same time a rich textural concentration emerges through the palate with that crisp minerally acid sustaining a prolonged finish. A super example of this wine that sits just below the Heytesbury. There is quite a deal of ageing potential here.
The harvest of Chardonnay began on 30 January, which is relatively early. Sustained heat in January and February also meant a quick harvest of white varieties, with all complete by 26 February. Very rarely does the white harvest finish this early.” — Virginia Willcock. It’s fine-boned and flavoursome at once. I also loved both the feel and the flintiness of this from the outset. Pineapple, pear, peach and grapefruit flavours dart daringly through the palate though all-the-while there’s silky/waxy aspect to the mouthfeel. It’s beautiful, cutting, nuanced and complex. Drink : 2023 - 2028+
This is a superbly crafted Margaret River Chardonnay again showing the exceptional skills of Chief Winemaker Virginia Willcock. Bright mid straw in colour, it is elegant, refined and highly complex from the get go with powerful fruit well matched to high quality oak plus a deliciously savoury side thanks to wild yeast ferment with plenty of grape solids in the mix. Nectarine, general citrus and crushed cashew aromas are well matched with vanilla bean oak. There is a real juiciness and precision to the palate although without quite the raw power seen in the best vintages under this label. There is however still oodles of melon and citrus fruits to enjoy and a finish of good length making this another delicious Chardonnay release from Vasse Felix, one of Margaret River’s top producers for this variety.
91 points / 8/ 10
Grapefruit, yellow nectarine tangerine, with a Sauvignon edge to it. Not herbal, but most certainly tangy. There’s a red berry fruitiness in here too (wild ferment?). And a richness and shimmer to the palate with tangy nettle-citrus rind and gently resinous sage, around a pure core of white-yellow peach stone and flesh. It breaks and melts easily at the back, with plenty of zingy peel among the gentle creamy wobble. It’s a bit of fun this and — in short — would be a fab first foray for someone who’s a bit uncertain as to whether they should be venturing into Chardonnay. 91/100, 8/10,