(2022) A 'text book vintage' according to Vasse Felix, with consistent weather through the ripening season. Crop levels were good, despite some spring storms reducing cropping potential. 80% Cab with 16% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, it spent 18 months in French oak, 62% new. A little more dense in colour that the 2013, this also is perfumed, but more on pure red and black fruits and florals than the more herbaceous character of the 2013, with raspberry and light anise notes. The palate is luxurious, sweet and creamy fruit and a soy character, a little sweet, damp earth. Lots of saltiness and seasoning on this wine, very gastronomic, very digestible, the tannins and cherry pit acdity of the finish are really quite elegant, though spicy and intense too.
(2021) From vineyards six kilometeres from the ocean, this is certified organic and comes from clay and gravel soils. It spends 12 months in French barriques, only 8% new, after fermentation with wild yeasts, and it goes through full malolactic. Quite a quiet, understated nose here, creamy ripe apple and pear, the merest touch of flint in the background. In the mouth an intense, concentrated wine in terms of both texture and flavour, a lot of salty, racing mineral acidity drives it at this stage, staying taut and linear. Should be better in a couple of years too.
(2021) At 15 kilometres from the ocean this single block wine is from a biodynamic estate, the vines planted on clay with chalk/limestone deposits. Whole-bunch pressed into tight-grained 500-litre French oak, and it sees 100% malolactic. Relatively dark in colour compared to the others here, with a lightly oxidised character, toast and the oak certainly apparent, but an intriguing nuttiness and even some floral notes at the opposite extreme perhaps. The palate has a lovely blend of orange and grapefruit and something peachier and more exotic, then the acidity comes through nicely, so the finish dries on saltiness again with gastronomic effect. I think this was a slightly oxidised example so my score is provisional on that.
(2020) Very discreet, apple, pear. Very taut, a sour apple and grapefruit juiciness, cool, direct, that apple and lemon citrus continues. I've been a huge fan of Tony's wines over the years, and though beautifully made, I confess I found this maybe a bit too restrained for its own good?