2017 Vasse Felix Shiraz
Although our commitment to Shiraz is historic – with the oldest Shiraz vines in Margaret River – the Vasse Felix Shiraz style is modern Australian, cool climate elegance. Wild fermented in small batches, the wine’s complexity is deep and true to its unique environment. Only the highest grade vineyard sections make this fine, small volume Shiraz.
APPEARANCE Bright, ruby garnet. NOSE Uplifted raspberry and rose stem mingle with very spicy notes of liquorice, black pepper and cinnamon bark. Subtle hints of parsley, fennel and Thai basil enhance this complex and intensely fragrant perfume.
PALATE Vibrant, refreshing and moreish, the palate shows lifted fresh raspberry with spicy red berry coulis tang, black pepper and purple basil flavours. It finishes light and dry with a lingering perfume.
WINEMAKER COMMENTS In a beautifully mild to cool season, our finest Shiraz sections of our vineyards were selected for special handling in the Winery. Over the last few years we have been increasing the portion of our more southern spicy parcels of fruit, as well as the percentage of carbonic maceration and whole bunch fermentation due to the vibrancy, complexity and drinkability these techniques bring to the final wine. A portion of the fruit was carefully tipped into an oak vat as whole bunches. The vat was closed up and filled with CO2 and left untouched for 7 days, causing an enzymatic fermentation in the uncrushed berry. The fruit was then foot stomped and allowed to start wild fermentation. The balance of the fruit was fermented in small sections with only wild yeast after carefully destemming the fruit, without crushing, to ensure gentle whole berry fermentation without stems. The fermented wine was pressed to older French Oak Barriques for only 11 months to ensure the wine retained its elegant, fine fruit perfumes.
VINTAGE DESCRIPTION 2017 was a cooler and later vintage than the previous 10 years; a year of elegant, perhaps slightly lighter bodied wines, though ripe in flavour, vibrant and very perfumed. Higher than average yields in combination with a cooler season contributed to delayed ripening of the fruit and good acid retention. Some timely warmth and sunshine occurred throughout January, although February temperatures remained moderate with some rainfall. With the cooler weather, canopy management and fruit thinning was imperative to mitigate disease pressures and allow for even, persistent ripening. There was a warm start to March to finish the white harvest, followed by the driest April since 1982, finishing the reds beautifully.
VARIETIES 100% Shiraz
HARVESTED March 2017
FERMENTATION 100% wild yeast 87% destemmed and uncrushed, leaving whole berries fermented wild. 13% carbonic macerated for 7 days, followed by whole bunch fermentation for 10-13 days.
FERMENTATION VESSEL Static stainless steel fermenter and small open top vats. TIME ON SKINS 16 days average
PRESSING Basket Press
MATURATION French Oak Barrique 100% 1-6 year old 11 months
BOTTLED May 2018 TA 5.9g/L PH 3.55
RESIDUAL SUGAR 0.17g/L
CELLARING Now until 2023