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While most New World Chardonnays are beginning to tire at five years of age, the 2006 Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay is just beginning to hit its stride – ample testimony to Vasse Felix’s magic touch and Margaret River’s inimitable terroir, which together produce the most complex, age worthy of Australian wines. The aroma alone on the Heytesbury Chardonnay is worth the price of admission: subtle, complex hints of acacia, jasmine, pineapple, and stone fruits mingle with citrus zest and soft spicy, well-integrated oak tones. On the palate, the 2006 Heytesbury Chardonnay comes across as equally compelling as it delivers plenty of suave, sophisticated flavors in a balanced format. With a combination of supreme elegance and flavor, one panel member aptly dubbed this outstanding Chardonnay “Australia’s Puligny-Montrachet.” In fact, it actually puts many white Burgundies to shame. We suggest drinking the 2006 Vasse Felix Chardonnay now and for the next couple of years, and as often as possible. And for this special Chardonnay, we advise only moderate chilling. For most palates, the ideal temperature seems to lie between 40°-45º F . . . but as you like it!
What does one serve with the finest Chardonnay? The answer of course is simple: anything one wants. However, as elegant and flavorful as the 2006 Vasse Felix Heytesbury drinks, it can easily shine in the presence of the finest of cuisine. Two classic French favorites, Suprêmes de Volailles (Breast of Chicken with cream) and Escalopes de Veau (Sautéed Veal Scallops with mushrooms and cream) are two of our favorite dishes in the company of the world’s finest Chardonnays. Yet, almost any fish, fowl, pork, or veal dish will be elevated in the presence of the 2006 Heytesbury Chardonnay. Sole and flounder offer tasty companionship, especially when prepared with savory sauces. Crab, scallops, and lobster, served with drawn butter, provide additional accompaniments to highlight Vasse Felix’s premier Chardonnay. Yet, the 2006 Heytesbury Chardonnay truly needs nothing to shine but a willing imbiber so why not pour a glass and take a sniff? You and the wine may never make it to dinner. Enjoy!
Vasse Felix is the oldest commercial vineyard and winery in Western Australia. Many critics also consider it to be the finest winery in the state. It produces award winning Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot as well as a bevy of excellent whites, including the renowned Heytesbury Chardonnay. Thanks to astute winemaking and an ideal terroir, Vasse Felix consistently fashions compelling wines, which have served to put Western Australia on the viticultural map and raise the eyebrows of the world’s true connoisseurs. At the same time, Vasse Felix has inspired others in Australia’s largest state to follow suit.
The name Vasse Felix is derived from the Latin word for luck (Felix) and the name of an early 19th century French sailor (Vasse) who died while exploring the section of the captivating coast of Western Australia we now know as the Margaret River. At first, the name may seem quite ironic, but to anyone who has ever caught a glimpse of this eye-popping place, pure good fortune and a perpetually smiling face are no exaggerations when speaking of this enchanted land. Therefore, to die in such a place is far more fortunate than never to have seen it.
The Margaret River is a green temperate corner of Western Australia that sits beside the sea. Here the Margaret River makes its way through wooded hills and steep ridges carpeted with wild flowers, before sighing almost inaudibly into the gleaming Indian Ocean. Crystalline waters and high rolling surf offer Australia’s finest surfing as well as its most compelling seascapes. These very same waters, along with steady ocean breezes, a unique soil, and a Mediterranean climate also make Margaret River one of the finest natural wine producing areas on earth and a great place to peacefully whittle away the time.
In the early 1960’s, a scholar named John Gladstone was the first to recognize and publicize Margaret River’s special climate, soil, and conditions known as terroir. In a detailed account Gladstone wrote glowingly of the similarities between the finest wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Margaret River. Moreover, he extolled the perfect weather of Margaret River for the cultivation of the vine, especially for the traditional Bordeaux varietals. And, indeed, Gladstone’s proclamation has proven to be more than just wishful thinking, surpassing even his own expectations: In the past three decades the Margaret River has established itself as a world-class wine producing region for Chardonnay and Shiraz as well as the traditional Bordeaux varietals.
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