White Wine of the Year
Vasse Felix Heytesbury chardonnay 2014 ($70)
Chardonnay was the dominant grape variety in the taste-off for the white wine of the year. This great wine from Vasse Felix captures a modern
expression of the variety that maintains the power and integrity of this wonderful chardonnay region.
A pure, elegant and vibrant style of Chardonnay, embracing the region’s powerful fruit with complexity and restraint to express the environment, with the hallmarks of Vasse Felix’s premier vineyards.
RAY JORDAN WINE GUIDE
APPEARANCE Pale straw with a green tinge.
NOSE Elegant, fine and complex perfume with vibrant fruit fragrances of pineapple, white peach and delicate fresh ginger and wild mushroom nuances beneath. Yeast and fine oak contribute exciting layers of smoked charcuterie, spicy clove and stone flint.
PALATE The palate is bright, fresh and luscious with white peach and mushroom notes and a fine-tuned structure integrating the wine’s mouth-watering acidity, fruit and oak. Its seamless, suspended palate finishes with a delicate citrus flower note.
A substantial viticulture program commenced at Vasse Felix in 2006, with the vision to enhance the resources of ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grown within the Estate.
The original Wilyabrup Vineyard was carefully expanded and a specialty vineyard was acquired in Karridale. These are known as the Estate’s Premier Vineyards. In 2013 the combination of vine age, yields and season enabled Vasse Felix to realise a significant outcome of this program and make the first vintage of this much- anticipated Chardonnay to sit alongside the Estate’s historic Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit was hand-harvested, chilled, gently whole-bunch pressed and transferred to French oak barriques as unclarified juice for fermentation with only natural yeasts from the vineyard. Each parcel was left on lees in barrel for 9 months of maturation with battonage.
Moderate spring temperatures accompanied by low solar radiation and cool soil conditions contributed to slower vine growth and increased disease pressure. Thankfully, a consistent warm / dry summer ensured clean canopies and a timely start to the white harvest. Weather remained warm, without extremes.
White varieties have lovely acidity and elegant, ripe fruit.
Varietal : Chardonnay,
Brand name : Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2014,
Liquor style : white wine,
Size : 750ml,
Current vintage : 2014,
Standard drinks : 7.7,
Country : Australia,
Alcohol volume : 13.0%,
Region : Margaret River wineries,
State : Western Australia,
Varieties : Chardonnay,
Harvested : February 2014,
Oak : 100% French oak, 50% new, 50% 1-2 year old, 9 months,
TA : 6.2 g/L,
pH : 3.22,
Residual : sugar 1.37 g/L,
Alcohol : 13.0%,
Bottled : February 2015,
Cellaring : 5-7yrs,
This is one of those wines that just seems right from whichever way you tackle it. The bouquet is interesting, appealing and immediately complex with its subtle white peach and grapefruit nuances plus a little roasted cashew. The palate has such a vibrancy with its lively acid and crisp fruit characters. The delicate minerally acid focused the finish which is long and precise CELLAR 7 years
The Wine Front
Margaret River chardonnay that would impress and please all-comers. It is what it is. It steps out into the day and takes on the world with breezy indifference. Sunny but elegant, oaked but harmoniously so, fleshy with fruit but boasting more than an ounce of finesse. No queries or qualms, just pure quality.