Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This wine delivers all of the sea spray, melon rind, gunflint and oyster shell characteristics that Margaret River Chardonnay is known for. The palate shows power but not heaviness, textural weight but not richness, with a long line of salty minerality and mouthwatering acidity to boot
The 2016 Heytesbury Chardonnay is a pristine, focused example of the variety as grown in Margaret River. It seems more crystalline and pure, less opulent and showy than previous vintages, although I must confess a bit of ambivalence about that. Pineapple and citrus dominate the nose with just subtle oak shadings (although it's typically 50% or more new). It's medium-bodied in the mouth with a soft, custard-like richness and a silky texture that fades slowly away on the lemon-tinged finish.
Established in 1967 by regional pioneer Dr Tom Cullity, Vasse Felix is Margaret River's founding wine estate. Pristine isolation, ancient lands and twin oceans make Margaret River a wine paradise and one of the world’s greatest environments to grow ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. These varieties, alongside Shiraz and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends are the primary focus at Vasse Felix. All wines are grown in Vasse Felix’s four Margaret River vineyards then vinified and bottled within the modern winery, situated at the Home Vineyard overlooking the Wilyabrup Brook. The Vasse Felix Cellar Door - also located at the Home Vineyard - is renowned. Featuring a tasting room, wine lounge, art gallery, wine museum and one of Australia's most acclaimed restaurants, visitors are welcomed from all around the world, eager for the ultimate Vasse Felix experience.
There are many things that make Vasse Felix the special place it is: the incredible environment and climate of Margaret River, their secure family ownership, their treasured heritage, and their priceless vineyards. But above all, it's the dedication of the entire team to continue Dr Cullity's original aim for Vasse Felix: "to make the best possible wine".
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. For white wines, refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are regional specialties.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.