Bit of a wet cold spell sweeping through Melbourne at the moment, so what better than a curry night at a friend’s place (no washingup, hey score!). We had just been to Enoteca Sileno looking for some Italian biancos, but felt that some frugal selectivity was in order. So we ended up at one of the big chains and picked up 4 bottles of Vasse Felix. Might as well make a decent tasting out of this before our tastebuds get obliterated by lamb vindaloo.
Vasse Felix Classic Dry White 2012, Margaret River, WA
$16. A blend of 67% Sauvignon Blanc and 33% Semillon. The VF vinification info says ‘These varieties are picked at reasonably low Baume’ and I’m left wondering, hmm.. for a vintage boasting good ripening conditions, is there a reason why you’d trumpet the low sugar levels? I’m probably overthinking this. Clear, pale straw yellow colour. Youthful aromas, slightly grassy with the clear presence of gooseberry, passionfruit, green apple and Thai green mango. A medium-bodied white wine, high steely acidity, 12% alc. Ripe flavours of lemon-lime citrus, bitey apple and a sprinkle of finely chopped green herbs. Long finish, a wine of good quality for a solid one glass, but I wouldn’t really push for more than 2 glasses. Drink now. 88/100.
Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2012, Margaret River, WA
$22. Fruit was harvested and fermented as individual parcels with wild yeasts. Pressed juice was matured in French oak barrels for 9 months. Clear pale yellow with a green tinge. Youthful aromas of white peach, apple, lemon and grapefruit, slight note of struck match and clove. It doesn’t have that weighty creamy impression, so I’d guess minimal working of lees for this wine. A medium-bodied wine with sweet lemon citrusy acidity, 12.5% alc. Solid peach and lemon mingled flavours, lingering on the long finish. A good clean finish, this might be nice with banana-roasted fish fillets. Wasn’t bad with pappadums. Drink now. 88/100.
Vasse Felix Cabernet Merlot 2011, Margaret River, WA
$22. A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 6% Malbec. Fruit from individual batches were crushed separately into stainless steel fermentation vessels and underwent different extraction processes. The Cabernet fruit underwent a 5-day warm maceration period to maximise tannin and colour extraction. The Merlot fruit underwent cold maceration prior to fermentation, and pressed off skins early to avoid excessive tannin extraction. The wine was matured in French oak barrels for 12 months, 8% new. Clear, intense ruby-purple colour. Youthful lifted aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and red plums. Whiff of bay leaf. A medium+ bodied wine, high acidity, 13.5% alc. The young, fine-grained tannins give an initial dusty chocolate powder-like texture, and work well to give this wine an accessible structure at this young age. Rich flavours of blackberries, raspberry candy and plum. Long finish, with the fruit lingering at the back recesses of your mouth. Drink now to 2018. 89/100.
Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Margaret River, WA
$36. The fruit for this wine come off vineyards in the northern end of the Margaret River region, to within 8km of the coastline so it is strongly influenced by the offshore winds. The soil composition is mostly gravel loam. Individual parcels of fruit were fermented on skinds for up to 30 days. Clear, intense purple ruby colour. An attractive, multilayered bouquet with youthful aromas of blackcurrants, black plums, 70% dark chocolate, anise, cedar oak and dried herbs. A dry, medium+ bodied wine drinking young right now, surprisingly not as full-bodied as I’d expected. A good presence of grainy tannins which form the angled, firm structure against which the fleshy acidity works to keep the dark fruity flavours fresh. Blackberries and red berry fruit dominate the palate, finishing cleanly. Drink now – 2020. 91/100.
NB. Retail chain prices are a couple $$ cheaper than if you order direct from the winery. So why wouldn’t you…?
p.s. phone left at work = no pics, sorry!