Mission Codename Burgbuster
White Burgundy fans, or anyone who love serious world class Chardonnay listen up!
You CANNOT find this style or quality level at this price in Meursault and Montrachet, be it Puligny or Chassagne.
Yet Vasse Felix delivers that Grand Cru experience at a village type price. At $55 it easily competes with white Burgs up to 10 times its price. At $33, there is no competition. The 95 point score, along with two 93 point ratings further solidify this wine as “one of the best examples of Chardonnay in all of Australia”.
Defined by Wine Spectator as a “Margaret River mainstay” since 1967 with “Chardonnays that have the region’s jazzy balance and signature stone fruit flavors…” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate echoes that “this estate is one of the original pioneering properties, it remains one of the region’s standard-bearers…”
And believe it or not, just as these lines were being typed today Decanter came out with a highlight on their ‘Grand Crus’ pointing out that they “stand among Australia’s best… How many doctors does it take to found a wine region? The answer is three in the case of Margaret River in Western Australia, whose pioneering vignerons included Thomas (Tom) Cullity of Vasse Felix, Kevin Cullen (Cullen Wines) and Bill Pannell (Moss Wood). In 1967, just 4km from the Indian Ocean on the Wilyabrup ridge, Cullity planted Margaret River’s first vines that successfully went into commercial production.”
Well, they sure have come a long way. What’s in our glass is a brilliant white gold, with reflections of lively luminosity. The nose is a dead ringer for Meursault, with crushed rocks and toasty hazelnuts, in a citrus pith envelope. The energy and freshness on the palate, thanks to zippy acidity, is mouthwatering to the point of being almost over the top. Like a liquid peach melba, it delivers bright stone fruits inside a creamy shell that persists long and gracefully. The complexity, at this price point especially, is thru the roof here, calling for rich seafood dishes drenched in hearty white sauces. Sublime!
Still the coolest part? We can virtually bet on both diehard Chardonnay fans and ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) chasers LOVING this delightful tweener.
Was the last of the vintage sadly, so highly limited, make your moves.
95 Points – James Halliday
“This takes the Vasse Felix Chardonnay trio into serious wine territory. All the aspects are here, barrel fermentation in French oak, neither too much new, nor too little; the picking regime/decisions are integral to the vinification, the aim being to avoid the need to acidify; time in barrel is also an important consideration, with an increasing practice to finish maturation in tank.”
93 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Vasse Felix was Margaret River’s first established winery, set up in 1967 by Tom Cullity, who started off with only 2.8 hectares of vines. Today the estate is comprised of over 300 hectares, most of it planted to Chardonnay, the variety for which Vasse Felix is most well-known. Longtime winemaker Virginia Willcock has a sure hand… The Chardonnay Filius provides great bang for the buck and is widely available, the top-drawer Heytesbury is one of the best examples of Chardonnay in all of Australia… The 2017 Premier is translucent yellow. Meyer lemon, pear nectar, jasmine, vanilla and a hint of buttered toast on the intensely perfumed, mineral-accented nose. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering sappy citrus and orchard fruit, floral, ginger and sweet butter flavors and a suggestion of salty minerality. Shows impressive energy and mineral bite on the chewy, penetrating finish, which features a repeating floral note. Drink 2022-2028.”
93 Points – James Suckling
“Complex and together white with cooked-apple, lemon-peel and cream aromas and flavors. Medium body, solid palate and a fresh and vivid finish. Always an excellent Chardonnay. Drink or hold.”
Crushed rocks, toasty hazelnuts, a citrus pith envelope
What’s in our glass is a brilliant white gold, with reflections of lively luminosity
A dead ringer for Meursault, with crushed rocks and toasty hazelnuts, in a citrus pith envelope
Energy, freshness, zippy acidity, mouthwatering to the point of almost over the top
Like a liquid peach melba, bright stone fruits in a creamy shell that persists long and gracefully
The complexity is thru the roof here, calling for rich seafood dishes drenched in hearty white sauces
What the Winery Says
2017 'Premier' Margaret River Chardonnay
- Virginia Willcock
- 100% Chardonnay
- Margaret River, Western Australia
- Vineyards planted
- Gingin, Bernard 95, 96 & 76
- 100% wild yeast
- Total acidity
- 6.8 g/L
- Residual sugar
- 0.9 g/L
- 9 months
- 48% new French oak