Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Margaret River

"Margaret River is the closest thing to paradise of any wine region I have visited in my extensive search for knowledge." - Jancis Robinson

Remind me to thank the salesman for selling me a case of 2015 Vasse Felix Margaret River Filius Cabernet Sauvignon.  The salesman, by the way, wasn't the regular guy on the streets.  This was a wine company supervisor who stopped in to check on me.  Whenever that happens it's usually a golden opportunity to pick up some of the good stuff!

It wasn't so much the particular Vasse Felix Cab that he recommended that got me giddy.  It was the reminder of just how great the Margaret River wine region is on the world scale.  That's what has me writing now.  I didn't even realize Vasse Felix was Margaret River wine at the time!  Now I can add Vasse Felix to Cullen and Leeuwin and all of the other wonderful Margaret River wines that are remarkable in their own right yet don't sell worth a flip! They've been making world class Cabernet Sauvignon for fifty years and you still have to hand sell them!

The Margaret River wine region encompasses 5,000 hectares of vineyard land in southwestern Australia.  It measures 100 kilometers from north to south.  They produce 3% of the wine of Australia but account for 20% of the market sales which means they're definitely doing something right.

Margaret River is a cape surrounded by ocean waters on three sides.  It has a Mediterranean climate with some of the oldest gravelly loam soils on the planet.  The ocean breezes moderate the temperatures and the old soils provide drainage for the vines.  Mysteriously, being on a west coast anywhere also seems to be a factor in fine wine production.

Vasse Felix was the first vineyard and winery of the Margaret River region.  It was started in 1967 and saw three ownership changes and eight vintages before hitting their stride.  Initially Riesling was their primary endeavor before learning how great their Cabernets and Chardonnays could be.  Margaret River wines are consistently elegant, showing finesse and ripe fruit flavors appropriate to the varietal.

The 2015 Filius is an estate-bottled red that has a little Malbec in the blend and sees fifteen months in oak.  It has a purplish-maroon color and savory but perfumed nose.  On the palate are notes of black currant, venison, mushrooms, truffles, sage, earth, oak and cedar.  In other words, this is complex wine.  It finishes long and lean.

Please join us this Thursday after 5pm for our weekly wine tasting.


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