2020 Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay


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In warmer vintages (like 2020) the Heytesbury chardonnay has extension and flex on release, they billow with flavour and pleasure, and the oak seems to be enveloped by it early on. So goes the story here: like the 2018 (on release) this is a scintillating show of powerful fruit, mineral/juicy acidity and layers of crushed rocks, petrichore. nori, summer fig and salted yellow peaches. A superstar wine - it's closed now though: patience, or a decant is recommended. Drink by 2037.
Erin Larkin - Halliday's Wine Companion
The Brief
Why's this wine for you?

'An Australian Grand Cru' Huon Hooke

Heytesbury Chard, is one of Australia's and the world's best examples of this wine. Full Stop. And in 2020 you will find it hard to get any better than this. Made from a selection of the most unique and striking rows of fruit from the Vasse empire, this tightly wound wine will strike you with its complexity and character. Entrenched with grain, meal and almond, you will find the beautiful twists of lemon, peel and honey-dew melon opening up in the glass. 2020 is where winemakers like Virginia Wilcox thrive.

The low yields and marginally cooler conditions prevailed, meaning her thoroughly careful and modern take on Margaret River Gin Gin clone Chardonnay has shined right through. While malolactic is encouraged in the wine, it is a dominant feature, and nor is the oak, only used in the perfect ratio to ensure the fruit sucks up the wood character, rather than be dominated by it. While it's a little restrained now, this vintage will shine in a few years time. Do what you must to get your hands on a bottle of this vintage of Heytesbury, arguably the finest ever release put together by Vasse Felix.

How's it taste?
A beguiling perfume of elevated wattle honey, smoking wax, grilled white nectarine, white rose and ginger is rounded out by complex aromas of wet ocean limestone, lemon grass, Geraldton wax flowers and yeasty flat bread. Quite restrained in its youth, with more complexities to be unveiled over time. On the palate, a bright yet creamy entry is supported by a beautifully taut line of acidity and incredible palate structure. An enticing pop of samphire complements the mineral, saline core, leading to a long, rich and dry finish with lingering hints of savoury beeswax.
How was it made?
Our most unique small vineyard sections where aspect and soil interplay with the Gingin Chardonnay in such a way to ignite stunning varietal and wild yeast influence. A moderately warm, dry and relatively early vintage of low yields produced fruit with fine perfumes, electric acidity and a very full rich mid palate weight balancing on a knifes edge of ‘al dente’ ripeness. Natural malolactic fermentation was allowed to complete 100%. Hand-harvested whole bunches were pressed and transferred direct to barrel as unclarified juice. Each parcel was fermented with only natural yeasts from the vineyard and left on lees in barrel for 10 months of maturation and an additional 7 months in tank after blending, with regular battonage. Crafted from 100% Gingin clone fruit, this wine remains true to the signature Heytesbury perfume and structure. A rich, structured, savoury and subtly complex release that will become even deeper with time.
The Who
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
Expert Review
97 Points
Erin Larkin - Halliday's Wine Companion
In warmer vintages (like 2020) the Heytesbury chardonnay has extension and flex on release, they billow with flavour and pleasure, and the oak seems to be enveloped by it early on. So goes the story here: like the 2018 (on release) this is a scintillating show of powerful fruit, mineral/juicy acidity and layers of crushed rocks, petrichore. nori, summer fig and salted yellow peaches. A superstar wine - it's closed now though: patience, or a decant is recommended. Drink by 2037.
Expert Review
Expert Review
95 Points
Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
Glorious. So much scent, so pure through the palate, complex in general and then deliciously long. High class chardonnay for high class chardonnay lovers. Flint, grapefruit, apple and vanilla characters come topped with hay, fennel and custard powder. It’s a powerhouse wine but it’s also refreshing refined; there’s great purity through the palate and yet it still feels more than a little bit fancy.
Customer Reviews
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