Who makes it?
Vasse Felix is one of the Margaret River’s first wine estates. Dr Tom Cullity planted the first of the estate’s vineyards in 1967 after recognising the region’s immense potential. The Holmes à Court family has owned the estate since 1987 and they have made the estate’s cellar door a ‘must’ on any visit to the Margaret River. And if you are a music lover, it is a regular venue on the summer concert circuit. However, the reputation of Vasse Felix for its wine cannot be denied. Not just in Australia, but the world.
Particularly for their Margaret River staples Chardonnay and Cabernet. Conversely, while this is Vasse Felix’s ‘entry level’ Chardonnay, it is in no way simple.
How they make it?
This Chardonnay is made with great attention to detail, and this is mirrored in the detailed palate of the wine. The team choose the different parcels of clones with each parcel contributing its own character to the wine. In addition, all of the grapes destined for Filius were fermented with indigenous yeast. This oak regimen used for this Chardonnay is a blend of new (20%) and old with various degrees of lees stirring (battonage) for its polished texture.
What does it taste like?
This is a classy Chardonnay for the price. It is dry but juicy and texural. An abundance of fragrant nectarine and guava fruit is offset by a smoky minerality and a vanilla cream pastry note. The oak has been very well judged so that the Filius delivers a fleshy, rounded and full bodied mouthful. While there is a slight oily sensation on the palate, this is kept strictly in check with refreshing and crisp acid.
What to drink with it?
This is a great match for a wide variety of dishes including roast chicken through to something as ludicrously tasty as a foil wrapped white fillet of fish with a butter and flaked almond sauce. Reassuringly, with its balance of fleshiness to fresh acid, it is a Chardonnay that can be enjoyed without any food at all.
A mature hard cheese such as cheddar works well here.
Quickie review « A well judged crisp style of Chardonnay that keeps freshness at its heart.»
Country of Origin: Margaret River, Australia
Tasting Date: December 20
Price: £13 | USD$20 | AU$29
Drink: now – 2+ years
Needs food: no
Visit Vasse Felix for more information.