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Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Margaret River, Australia
  • JH96
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

Bright pale straw with a green tinge. A complex and powerful perfume. Bursting with fragrant pineapple and lemon freshness, the nose gently releases its cache of wild barrel ferment characters. Crusty apple pie, pretty lavender, struck stone flintiness, plus subtle lamb fat and bay leaf provide shadow and depth to the bright citrus that shines from the core. Intricate, luscious and mouth-watering, reflecting pineapple, custard apple and water chestnut, lightly spiced with cloves, vanillan oak and almond biscuit flavors. Opens with juicy fruit and evolves to a tight acid drying finish, that carries the pristine and complex flavors for remarkable length.

Critical Acclaim

JH 96
Australian Wine Companion

Bright straw-green; has the poised elegance that has become the hallmark of Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay, every component finely detailed and in balance with every other component; it is driven by its stone fruit in the first instance, but with oak and acidity also contributing to the texture and complexity of the wine.

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

The 2011 Heytesbury Chardonnay displays coy, youthfully mute aromas of white peach, orange blossom and cedar with suggestions of crushed stones, allspice, ground ginger and cashews. Tightly knit in the medium-bodied mouth, it is packed with taut citrus, peach, pear and mineral flavors offset by a very good acid line and gentle silkiness to the texture. The finish is long with the toast and nuts flavors coming through. It really needs another year at least in bottle and should drink best 2014 to 2020+. Rating: 93+

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Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix

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Vasse Felix, , Australia
Vasse Felix
Planted in 1967, Vasse Felix was the first vineyard to be established in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia.

Family owned and operated by the Holmes a Court family, Vasse Felix is internationally recognized as a leading Margaret River winery, restaurant and cellar door and is found in the heart of Margaret River's famous sub-region, Willyabrup.

Long growing seasons, ancient soils and cooling sea breezes from the Southern and Indian Oceans provide the Vasse Felix vineyards with ideal viticultural conditions to craft consistent, elegant and complex wines with pronounced varietal character and aroma.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

NUINUSVASHEC11U6_2011 Item# 124441

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