Hentley Farm The Beauty 2017/ ‘2017 was a nice year in that we got lots of winter rainfall in spring. Solid crop levels. Had to drop a fair bit of fruit. Trying to find the balance. Fruit weight was there. It was, in the end, just about hanging in there. 3-4 weeks later on average than average harvest. Longer hang time means the 2017’s were quite big wines. Even VS odd years in the Barossa – odds are bigger more intense more tannic. Evens are softer finer more elegant, cooler.
Hentley Farm was founded by Keith Hentschke who was working for Orlando back in the 90’s. He asked around about setting up his new vineyard, and subsequently bought the property in ’97 and planted ’99 as he wanted. Greenock creek runs through the middle of the property. The Beauty vineyard sits down on the banks of the creek. There’s cooler air and it’s on the eastern side of the creek, there’s gums down there which provide shade; it’s cooler in the mornings. Slower flavour development. Mid-low 14’s baume at harvest.’ -AQ
Shiraz aromatics. White florals, pretty red berries – this is a beast in terms of intensity and concentration, there’s so much going on here. The 2017 vintage conditions play a big role in the muscular expression of this wine. The length of flavour is prodigious. Delicious. Plenty of charm and life here. Blood/satsuma plum, raspberry, pomegranate molasses. Blue fruits and slately graphity earthy characteristic. Soft tannin. 35% new French oak (the coopers are selected based on their ability to provide tannin support without oak. aromas and flavours.)”
2m 20d ago
2014 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity, Margaret River, 99 points / “The red fruits shine here. This is incredible. Raspberry, pomegranate, red apple skins, pink peppercorns, hints of strawberry, blackcurrant, mulberry, seaweed/nori (an injection of iodine, beetroot). The tannins are polished, like whipped egg white: chewy and sumptuous. The flavours extend through the palate and into the length. Very very long. I can write long after it is gone. Alive. Energy. Doesn’t want to finish, it doesn’t want to let go. It lingers. Great depth of flavour. Effortlessly long. In fact… it needs the extra linger time just to make sure its covered all of its flavours and textures. Super fine, powerful, long, structured and delicate. Perfect.”
If this represents where Margaret River has come to, then we are indeed in a magnificent place.
To put this into perspective: Margaret River vintage charts are pretty bland – the range is very good to exceptional. There are ‘typical’ years, ‘plush’ years’, ‘leaner’ years, ‘warmer’ years… but they’re all good. They all age prodigiously. The 86’s are still alive and kicking: not bad for a wine region which at the time, was trailblazing towards a brave new wine world. In 2017, Margaret River celebrated its 50th year, and along with it, Vasse Felix, it’s 50th vintage. 2018 sees the release of the 2014 Tom Cullity. Perhaps one of the best cabernets to come out of Australia. Perfect. 99 points (or 19.5pts).
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
(Slightly more Cab than the 2013, less Malbec, the same PV)
100% basket pressed / 100% whole berry ferment / 100% wild yeast / 24 days on skins / French oak barriques 62% new, 38% 1-4 year old, 18 months / Unfined
3y 29d ago
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