2013 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $40+)

SKU #1295291 95 points James Halliday

 Interesting, very interesting. The colour, the freshness of the aromas and flavours, the finely sculpted tannins and the overall harmony suggest 13.5% alcohol, not 14.5%. All this conjecture is, of course, irrelevant: it is the outcome that matters - here a distillation of elegance.  (9/2015)

93 points James Suckling

 Aromas of flowers, ripe fruit, and hot stones. Plums too. Full body, very layered and velvety yet always fresh and vibrant. More obvious but in a sexy way. Contrasty and vibrant. Screw cap. Drink now or hold.  (7/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is firm, dusty and seemingly built for the cellar. Toasty, cedary and chocolaty oak frames dark fruit, yet it remains fresh in character, not dried or overripe. The finish is long, tannic and reminiscent of fine Bordeaux. Try after 2020. *Cellar Selection* (JC)  (2/2017)

92 points Vinous

 Opaque ruby. Fresh cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice, pipe tobacco and vanilla. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering sappy, concentrated black currant and cherry-vanilla flavors that pick up a smoky nuance with aeration. Closes spicy, smoky and very long, featuring a lingering licorice note and dusty tannins that come in late. (JR)  (10/2017)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Vasse Felix's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is an immediately attractive, approachable wine yet shows sufficient structure to age through 2025. Ripe, supple tannins and crisp acids provide just enough structure to support the wine's ample cassis fruit. Hints of bay leaf and vanilla provide complexity that lingers through the plush finish. (JC)  (12/2017)

K&L Notes

94 points Wine Front: "One of the great ‘go to’ Cabernets out of Margaret River. This release is bang on. It’s curranty, it’s tannic, it’s varietal, it’s soft, it’s satisfying. You can ask for little more. There’s no point defining the ins and out; it’s a 'buy,' if you’re in the market for such things." Winemaker's Notes: "92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot. This wine expresses the distinct regional profile of Margaret River. Cabernet Sauvignon and the site characters it takes from the Vasse Felix vineyards, with a focus on Wilyabrup. It was the first red wine produced in Margaret River and has been made every year since 1972. Cabernet is a robust variety ideally suited to Margaret River's climate and deep, well drained soils. The wine is medium deep ruby red. The nose is restrained but deep; complex perfumes of blue-black small berry fruit, floral potpourri, river stone, orange pith, dry jarrah twigs and hints of venison, dried mushroom and choc mocha. On the palate the wine has a smooth plush entry leading into juicy mouth-watering acidity and following is a blanket of fine powdery cuddly tannin, drying but not overpowering. Flavours reminiscent of blackcurrant, nori and toasty cedar remain. A ripe, soft tannin vintage with savoury expression."

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Staff Image By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/7/2017 | Send Email
A well proportioned, serious wine from the far western edge of Australia, Vasse Felix's Premier Cab has been hand crafted to reflect their unique terroir for more than 35 years. On the nose you notice the harmony first; a balance in the sum of the parts that make up the bouquet. As you did deeper you find gentle blackberry and cassis fruit paired perfectly with herbs like mint, bay leaf and a loose pipe tobacco. On the palate a solid structure takes shape with ripe tannins holding a brambly blackberry pie that has a dried citrus twist and wafts of a tobacco and tea. Clearly 35 years of experience has allowed them to dial in a precision Margret River should be proud of.

Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/20/2017 | Send Email
Vasse Felix has a long history in Margaret River and their Cabernet is consistently one of the better red wine values within the region. Under the direction of winemaker Virginia Willcock, the Cabernet is a tad more opulent and approachable in its youth yet manages to retain its depth, structure and longevity. It's a very solid pick for Cabernet lovers and a definite choice for anyone looking to try Australian Cabernet for the first time.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/20/2017 | Send Email
A wine of serious proportions. This has enough richness and power to appeal to Napa Cab drinkers but a structure and length more akin to great left bank Bordeaux. Deep saturated black and blue fruits abound; blackcurrant, cassis, damson plum wrapped up in shaved cedar, cigar box, toasted spices and subtle vanilla oak polish. The fruit is rich but ample tannins mean this will go the long haul. The best Vasse Felix Cab I've tasted in years. I'm just astounded we can offer it at this price. Given the quality, pedigree and ageing potential this is a steal.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/19/2017 | Send Email
I've become quite fond of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. It has plenty of fruit, body and structure that is just so fresh, precise and elegant. This bottle in particular offers such a variety of aromas and flavors: violets, black currants, cherries, pencil lead, eucalyptus in the nose. Cassis, tart cherry, dark cocoa, cedar and black pepper on the palate. The tannins are delicate and the finish lasting. A distinctive and delicious wine.

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/18/2017 | Send Email
Great example of the cabernet varietal picked at the optimal ripeness: clean, bright, aromatic, acidic, with Australia's classic pepper notes. Pair it with that food you've been craving and some Van Halen on a warm spring evening.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/17/2017 | Send Email
Margaret River is known for producing some killer Cabernets and the Vasse Felix is an amazing example of that reputation. While this wine is still a baby and can certainly be held for years to come, it is showing amazingly well now. It has great structure and power, with deep fruit notes and slight acidity to balance it out. This Cab competes with any other region in terms of outstanding quality and will certainly find a place in my cellar.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5