Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
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Bright, bold & earthy, this drop from Vasse Felix is one to watch. Dark fruits dominate the palate which opens up to savoury, dried herb characters. Fruit forward, wonderful acid & structured tannins.
Vasse Felix’s vineyard was planted in 1967 in Margaret River, making it the first winery established in the region. Dr Thomas Cullity, who had been doing trial plantings of vines in the area since 1965, had recently read a report by Dr John Gladstones, an expert in soil management and crop production, that the Margaret River region would be ideal for growing grapes, given its climatic similarities to Bordeaux in France. Dr Cullity thereafter spent a year searching for ‘red gravel in redgum country, with clay about 18 inches below the surface’, finally locating a site, which he planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec and Riesling, thereby establishing ‘Vasse Felix’ and Margaret River. The first vintage occurred in 1971, yet was a disaster, due to disease and birds. Dr Cullity stated ‘I will not forget the exhaustion and disappointment.’ The subsequent vintage fared much better, with the Riesling receiving a gold medal at the ‘Perth Show’, which caused many people to notice Margaret River’s potential for wines. In 1984, the winery was sold to the Gregg family, who then sold it to the Holmes à Court family in 1987, who have remained as its owners to the present day. Fruit is sourced from four vineyards located throughout the Margaret River region planted in 1967, 1995, 1997 and 1998, with almost 160ha under vine.
Vasse Felix offers over a dozen wines, from budget to super-premium. The ‘Filius Cabernet Sauvignon’ is a regional blend of fruit from all the Vasse Felix vineyards, displaying redcurrant, plum, liquorice and mocha on the nose, and a core of blackberry fruit on the palate, with a light and bright palate thanks to the Malbec and Merlot. The ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ is the “father” of the ‘Filius’, with a complex nose of fruits and herbs and cranberry, blackcurrant and mushroom on the palate and a long finish. The ‘Tom Cullity’ is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and petit Verdot and is a glorious wine, bursting with red fruits and herbs on the nose and plum, teak, clove and black tea on the palate, and a superb finish. Not surprisingly, it will cellar for over 20 years.
Australia’s western state, aptly named ‘Western Australia’, spans around a third of the continent. Although, while the state is huge, its grape output is minute, accounting for only 5% of Australia’s output. But what the region lacks in numbers, it makes up for in quality – boasting some of Australia’s finest wineries.
Pretty much all of Western Australia’s wine regions are situated on the continents south western tip, taking advantage of the cooler climate and considering the size of the state, it’s no surprise that there’s nine of them; Swan District, Perth Hills, Peel, Geographe, Blackwood Valley, Pemberton, Manjimup, Great Southern and Margaret River.
Each region is unique and stands out in its own way, yet one sits head and shoulders above all others – Margaret River. The location and climate allows vintners in the region to achieve near perfect results with very little effort. In fact Margaret River has been turning heads since a little after 1967, the date the first vines were planted. Margaret river is renowned for many varieties, but we are particularly fond of its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling and Semillon / Sauvignon Blanc blends.