Ulfiltered and unfined wines – they are a step on the journey to fully natural wines. Plenty of our top wineries are moving in this direction, if they hadn’t already, to bottle wines with as little in intervention as possible.
Vasse Felix have been experimenting for almost a decade with an alternate low intervention white wine with the 2020 vintage the first for general release under their new striking black label. Fermented on skins, aging in older oak and bottling without fining and filtration has created a wine that will shock some Vasse Felix fans but lovers of low-intervention styles will no doubt be pleased.
It is a cloudy golden colour and has not long been in bottle which explains its reserved characters. There is some attractive guava, dried grass and fennel seed fruit with spicy, resinous oak still quite dominant. It is then dry, mid-weight and crisp with fruit generosity and oak tannins plus a lingering finish. There is undoubted quality but it needs another three to six months to soften a little or drink it up now with French Onion Soup. The only problem – it is so rare you’ll have to call the winery to score a case.