article in Wine Spectator titled “The World’s Most Overlooked Fine-Wine Regions,”
If you want to understand Western Australia’s Margaret River wine region, you have to start at Vasse Felix. That’s where Dr. Tom Cullity planted the region’s first vines in 1967. He’d spent years hunting for the ideal site, eventually finding it among deep gravelly loam atop clay subsoils along a swath of land not 4 miles east of the Indian Ocean. Cullity named it “Home Vineyard” and planted Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and later Chardonnay.
Nearly half a century later, Wine Spectator’s Matt Kramer would author an article putting the world’s elite producers of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon on alert. Highlighting Margaret River as one of “The World’s Most Overlooked Fine-Wine Regions,” Kramer wrote: “The top rank of Margaret River Chardonnay and Cabernet is, simply put, in the top rank of the world. And by that, I’m including the likes of Burgundy (for the Chardonnay) and Bordeaux and Napa Valley (for Cabernet Sauvignon).”
When a prominent critic like Kramer so boldly elevates a New World growing region to such heights, you can bet the negociants of Bordeaux and Burgundy are listening. When someone like Kramer suggests Margaret River’s best rank alongside Napa and Sonoma producers of $60+ bottles of Chardonnay and $100+ Cabernet Sauvignon, we know Kramer’s words are heard by influential wine buyers from Boston and New York down to Miami, and west to Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Of course Kramer had to acknowledge Margaret River’s “overlooked” rise to the global elite started at the “still-thriving” Vasse Felix. The pioneering estate is “one of Australia’s treasures,” according to Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, “amongst the finest wineries in this area” whose wines are “definitely worth the hunt.” None more so than the 2015 Vasse Felix Chardonnay “Filius” Chardonnay.
Vasse Felix’s vineyards bask in a Mediterranean climate thanks to cleaning and constant breezes off the Southern and Indian oceans, which mitigate temperatures and allow grapes to achieve marvelous physiological ripeness over an entire growing season. Growers reported lower yields in 2015, thanks to spring storms during fruit-set and silvereyes, local birds that feasted on the blossoms that grow into grape bunches. But idyllic growing conditions without extreme heat spikes meant that vines concentrated flavors in the remaining bunches, while tannins ripened and acids remained even-keeled.
The 2015 “Filius” shows pale-straw color with emerald flecks. Mouthwatering aromas of lemon curd, ripe peach, and pineapple, tinged with pithy grapefruit and a light touch of ginger spice. Creamy, broad, and juicy, filled with a voluptuous mix of lemon, peach, pineapple, and spice, finishing with bracing acidity and persistence.
One of The Wine Advocate’s “absolute bargains” from Margaret River, with Chardonnay grapes from the region’s most historic vineyard. Wine Spectator called the 2015 Filius “sleek and polished” and rated it 92 points.
At $24.99 per bottle, don’t blink: You won’t find a California Chardonnay or white Burgundy this good for less than $60 a bottle. A mere 50 cases are up for grabs for those who act fast.
The WineAccess tasting notes seem right on except I detect that characteristic struck match note which seems to appear in nearly all Aussie Chards. It's subtle in this one, but it's there. 4.5 stars.
fair chardonnay has somewhat dry earthy aftertaste
Awful-Undrinkable. Worse than a bad $7 drug store wine
We noticed that the credit card number you entered matches one of your saved credit cards. We’ve updated your saved card with the new information.