A wonderfully complex, modern Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc expression. Fermented wild in large-format French oak with a portion of full skins contact, it is aromatic, savoury, textural and layered with a long, dry finish. The perfect aperitivo or accompaniment for rich seafood and poultry.
2020 was a stunning vintage that will define ‘rare and fine’ with low yields and fantastic quality. Spring development was early, followed by a warm start to summer which continued into fine, sunny and dry conditions throughout the season. Combined with low yields, this brought an early start to harvest.
Some portions have seen skin contact, others fermented (wild, of course) in French oak foudres. Field mushrooms and sea salt, guava and crushed lychee, nashi pear and Golden Delicious apples. So much going on, and from so many different angles: this is complex, textural, layered and long. This style will not be for everyone, although if you love chardonnay this will firmly be in your ballpark. The Campari/orange-zest character that comes from skin contact can be addictive - it's here, if you look closely. I'd like to see this in 5 and 10 years.
Powerhouse style and an excellent example of it. This really lays down the law in the glass. Woodsmoke, nettles, tropical fruit and gravelly gunmetal characters. If it was a film it would be a gritty revisionist western. There’s grain to the finish too, grip, structure. Candied fruit notes fly about but then the finish is daringly dry. It’s a terrific wine.
"Fleshy and textural", 93 Points
Virginia Willcock, the leader of the team at Vasse Felix, is known for saying ‘I never want to make the same wine twice.’ She never wants to stop learning and given the different vintage conditions each year, each wine should be unique. Over the past few years, they’ve been playing with skin contact in their sauvignon blanc, and when I tasted it, it was like a lightbulb moment. It’s an utterly delicious interpretation and its fine piquant tannins will hold up beautifully to food. Its golden hue stands out in a sea of lemon/green sauvignon blanc. Curious to know why, I stick my nose into an explosion of quince, orange blossom and cardamom. This is a glorious nose with just a hint of a herbal thread. The palate is fleshy and then reined in by cheek-puckering phenolics. Further investigation reveals part of the ferment spent time on skins which adds dimension to the nose and palate. This is a thought-provoking and delicious sauvignon, challenging previous conceptions you may have of the variety.