The release of the 2021 vintage marks 50 years of Margaret River Cabernet. Made at Vasse Felix every year since 1972, each vintage of this historic Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River’s original, embodies a faithful pursuit of excellence, purity and wine artistry. Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon is an archetypal expression, possessing all the hallmarks of the finest Margaret River Cabernet; elegance, power and ageability. A timeless original that has graced our table, and yours for five decades.
A year of peculiar weather where our commitment to sustainable viticulture was vital to the successful growth of quality, balanced fruit. A cool and wet spring prompted the need for an intense leaf plucking program to mitigate disease risk. Luckily, December and January were warm and dry. Canopy management was a priority throughout February and March to combat unusually warm and moist conditions. A rainfall event in early February provided a timely drink for the red varietals, followed by warm weather which was ideal for the Chardonnay ripening. A second rainfall incident in early March was followed by sunny and breezy conditions to dry off the fruit. With judicious canopy management and a crop of naturally resilient grapes, we harvested fantastic quality fruit with little-to-no disease in our vineyards. In this mild but challenging season, the Cabernets enjoyed an extended ripening period allowing soft and fine tannins to develop.
2021 vintage represents the 50th release of the Vasse Felix cabernet, and what a wine it is. Surely the best wine ever released under this label and at $55, an absolute bargain on the world wine stage. I could not resist drinking a glass (or two) at the end of the tasting, such is the quality and approachability. Fine, elegant and refined, this is textbook Margaret River cabernet. The medium bodied precise ripe fruit has been sympathetically handled making for a wine that is almost magically, supple and approachable today, yet simultaneously being capable of long-term ageing. With air, the lifted aromatics of the ripe, yet restrained fruit was a highlight. Celebrating the 50th vintage of the Vasse Felix cabernet and possibly the best wine released to date.
"classy, complex and totally composed"
This is the milestone 50th vintage of a Margaret River classic. Made every year since 1972; it’s a classy, complex and totally composed wine that that possesses all the hallmarks of top-notch Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, although in this case there is 14% of sturdy malbec in the blend. While the premium Vasse Felix cabernets are designed for the long haul, this can be enjoyed on release, albeit with food to be enjoyed at its best. It underwent 100% whole wild ferment and spent 17 months in new and one-year-old French barriques. There is plenty happening on the palate but it finishes with some smooth and sassy style. This would be great lamb chops, or a Mediterranean vegetable tart.
The 2021 vintage marks the 50th successive release of Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon. It is an exemplary expression of the region’s red wine, and is a fitting tribute to the anniversary, not least because it is widely considered as a challenging vintage for Margaret River reds... Elegant, restrained and finely textured Cabernet. Descriptions like “seamless” and “ethereal” come to mind. There’s a rare purity to the plum, raspberry coulis and fragrant blackberry fruit, and complexity with crushed leaves, bay leaf, rosemary. The freshness of youth is charming, but this will continue to improve for a decade with careful cellaring. A superior cabernet that competes with the best of the region and over-delivers on its price.
Medium-full red with the merest tint of purple; a touch of meaty/leafy/undergrowth on the nose, along with red fruits and briary notes, and lashings of tannin on the palate which augment the rich and well-integrated oak and fruit flavours. This will cellar well.