Vasse Felix were briefed in the seventies by Margaret River’s founding vigneron Dr Tom Cullity, to make the best possible wine. Heytesbury is a flagship regional Cabernet, the fruits of over thirty years of viticulture at Vasse Felix. Balance, elegance, complexity and restrained power are the hallmarks of Heytesbury, the direct result of an uncompromising approach to quality. Heytesbury embodies the Vasse Felix commitment to excellence, and as such is named after the Holmes à Court family company, to which Vasse Felix is the crowning jewel
Established in 1967, the Vasse Felix estate vineyard is planted at the heart of the Wilyabrup sub region, within the nucleus of premium Margaret River viticulture. Low yielding, dry grown vines planted on some of the world’s oldest soils enjoy long, warm growing seasons and cooling summer breezes from the nearby Indian and Southern Oceans. This moderating effect is responsible for grapes exhibiting exceptional concentration and intensity whilst retaining elegance and finesse. Parcels of ultra premium fruit are fermented separately in small, static fermenters to retain the unique characters of the site before being basket pressed and sent to the finest of French oak barriques.
This is a cabernet to crow about. The make-up this year is 90% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot and 2% malbec, all of which was matured in 44% new oak. But this break-down is for the record only. In the glass, pure and simple, it’s a star. It’s a medium-weight wine and yet it’s unafraid of tannin. You have to love that. It’s not out of whack, it remains in balance, integration is established and then it launches from there. Lots of bay leaf and baking spice here but then blackcurrant, fresh and juicy, which pushes into redcurrant, mint and boysenberry. There’s an undergrowth-like note here too, almost earthen, which teams terrifically with the tannin. The cellar beckons. Tasted: Jun 2021; Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $47; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2023-2033+; Rated: 94+ Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
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