Similar to the previous season, the 2018 vintage experienced cooler than average conditions. Spring and early Summer delivered intermittent cool then moderate weeks before a run of below average temperatures in January and February. Late January rain led to a fear of disease, however a beautiful period of ripening followed with ample sunshine and strong daily sea breezes preserving vibrant fruit flavours and acidity. Our white varieties ripened with ideal sugar levels and high malic acid content for the third year running, resulting in a desire to allow some natural malolactic ferment in Chardonnays. Meanwhile the reds ripened slowly and gently through a dry Autumn ensuring fully developed tannins and a slightly riper and fleshier fruit profile to 2017.
Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay
A selection of the most unique and striking vineyard plots, recognised for its innovative winemaking and distinguishing ‘Heytesbury’ character.
Late Feb – Early March 2018
French Oak Barrique, 42% New, 58% 1-3 year old, 9 months
Our most unique small vineyard sections where clone, aspect and soil interplay in such a way to ignite stunning varietal and wild yeast characters. Another cool season for Chardonnay, picked slightly later than 2017 and showing more fruit weight and ideal sugar levels. With moderate to high acidity, just over half completed malolactic fermentation. Beautifully ripe skins created a softer Heytesbury in this vintage. Hand-harvested, whole-bunches were pressed and transferred direct to barrel as unclarified juice. The wine was fermented with only natural yeasts from the vineyard and it remained in barrel for 9 months with some battonage. Fruit was 100% Gingin clone. A beautifully rich vintage for Chardonnay where the wines are looking approachable quite early yet will integrate and become deeper with time.
Pale straw with a green tinge.
An enticing, complex array of citrus, lemon/lime rind and pith, with light pineapple and sweet pie crust. Inviting savoury complexities of mushroom, ocean and flinty fire cracker complete the elegant perfume.
A fleshy entrance with lovely weight and richness is supported by the structure of classic Heytesbury acid and pithy firmness. An almost cuddly core reveals beautiful lemon sponge characters, then finishes dry with hints of fresh sage and stone flint.