(2022) There's 3% Malbec in the blend too, in a wine from a top vintage for Margaret River, with a long, rain-free autumn allowing for slow, full ripening. The Art Series comes from selected parcels of fruit, the wine spening fully 22 months in barrel before bottling. Dark, saturated and dense in both colour and aroma, there's loads of spice and cedar, and a core of pure blackcurrant. In the mouth the creaminess of the texture impresses first, with a supple flood of black fruit that is ripe, fleshy and sweet. Mocha coffee and dark, roasted spices add a lot of depth and drama, then the finish picks up much more of the grippy, but fine tannin and a rasp of refreshing plum-skin tart acidity. Long and very pure in the finish, with cellaring potential.
(2022) This Shiraz was harvested in the last week of February, at the same time as 2019's Riesling. Fermentation included 20% whole bunches, and the wine was matured in second and third use barrels for a total of 18 months. Vivid crimson in colour, there's a fabulously peppery aromatic, with loads of violet too, and charming blueberry and plum depth of fruit. A really attractive cooler climate style. In the mouth there's abundant sweet black fruit, quite glossy and ripe, but with a cherry skin grip of more tart fruit that gives an edge. The cedary barrel component adds more grip, as does a firm tannin quality and plenty of acid grip. The finishing impression is of freshness in among the more succulent fruit characters.
(2022) From an excellent vintage, the Art Series Chardonnay is fermented in 100% new French oak barriques, with a percentage of whole bunches in the mix. The wine is blended after 11 months in barrel. Despite that significant oak treatment, this has a gentle mealiness and creamy almond quality rather than anything overtly toasty. It seems a tad more precise than the previous vintage. There is a little buttery Brazil nut beneath, but also a certain coolness to the fruit, a hint of tangerine to peach and ripe pear. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and has very good freshness, the acid sparky and streaked with lime, that cuts through more buttery and tropical fruit flavours. Again there's salinity, and that plus the zesty citrus gives this fine definition, with a bit of grip too.
(2022) In a mild year, the Riesling harvest began on February 22nd and was completed within a week. A selection of the best parcels was chosen for this bottling, which saw minimal time on lees after fermentation in steel. Delicately floral and fresh on the nose, there is lime and blossom, but a gentle character from the outset. In the mouth it is a wine of great running mountain stream clarity, all about lemon and sharp apple flavours, a fine salty edge to the acidity in a long finish that ripples with lemon juice zestiness.
(2022) How intriguing to have this nine-year-old Chardonnay on the Society's shelves, from a top Margaret River estate. Wild fermented, it spent nine months in French oak, 45% new. Light gold in colour, the funky, flinty character this wine always posesses is there in full force, butteriness and a suggestion of fruit ripeness beneath. Loads of streaking, salty, flinty mineral character over pristine apple and hints of juicier nectarine, the acidity tapering elegantly but persistently. Some may find the bold and assertive style too much, but I really enjoyed it.
(2022) From Margaret River in Western Australia, and weighing in with just 12.5% alcohol, this is a Chardonnay in a cool and flinty style. Malolactic was blocked to retain acidity and the wine was matured in French oak barriques (20% new). There is plenty of buttery Brazil nut and that struck match wisp on the nose, but beneath the fruit seems ripe and bright. In the mouth there's a cool, almost minty freshness to the fruit, the oak more subtle and adding a creamy sheen. It's a poised and carefully-crafted style. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) A cool start to the growing season slowed development, but summer conditions were good, a rapid cooling in March aslo allowing extended hang-time. 76% Cab in this vintage, with 20% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. Nineteen months in French oak, 61% new. A very perfumed, green herb and olive-touched character, bright and lifted with black fruit and a light balsamic glaze, fresh and fragrant. Very pure and attractive black fruit, but it retains that savoury, lightly salty olive and fennel note, oak spices, a touch of chocolaate, and very pure but firm tannins and acids. The sweetness of the fruit really builds on the mid-palate, finishing savoury and long.
(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.
(2022) A dry and warm spring set good fruit and better yields than in the preceding vintage. Warm conditions with some helpful rainfall in January led to a long finish to the season. 78% Cab with 20% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, it spent 19 months in French oak, 80% new. Lots of mint and eucalypt here, chocolate too and refined cassis. Also plenty of ozoney freshness, leafy fennel and liquorice. The palate has great concentration and balance, again it is a wine with great drive and focus because of those taut, fine tannins and dry cherry-pit bite of the acid, but this does have the ripeness of fruit too, plump blackcurrants and brambles, just a background of quite exotic, incense-like spice.
(2022) The coolest and latest vintage for a decade, with delayed ripening and good acid retention. January and February so both warm sunshine and some rain, but a warm March and the driest April since 1982 so excellent ripening of red varieties. 82% Cab with 17% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, it spent 19 months in French oak, 61% new. More dense in colour, but far from opaque, running to pale pink on the rim. Quite closed, gravelly and olive scented, a hint of mint and showing that elegant and precise side of Cabernet, some exotic cigar box and Sandalwood spice. In the mouth the wine fleshes out immediately, sweet and ripe, the plushness surprises after the strictness of the aromatics, filling the mouth with plump blackcurrant, but then the edge begins to come through, really taut, succulent tannins and acids give this authority, but the wine has great drive and focus, finishing on fruit and suggesting great potential once again.