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10 July 2023

The Cabernet Society – Emma Farrelly

From our table to yours, a collection of five decades of moments with the Vasse Felix.

Author | Emma Farrelly, Director of Wine & Beverages, State Buildings

Margaret River Cabernet is such an expressive and refreshing style of wine.

I absolutely adore the flavour profile of it and the fact that it has plenty of shape and frame. Drinking Cabernet never feels boring as there is so much energy and complexity.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety that expresses ‘site’ very distinctly. Here, it shows ironstone, sea spray and red fruit characters that speak very much of Wilyabrup.

Often the perception is that Cabernet is a heavier wine that needs plenty of time to age. While aging these wines is always rewarding, freshness and elegance is a hallmark of the Premier Cabernet style.

Something that really highlighted this for me was the Cabernet Society dinner held at Vasse Felix, late 2018. The dinner – based solely around this beautiful ‘king of grapes’ – provided an exceptional wine and food experience that is etched in my memory. I remember as we drank the 2014 Premier Cabernet with dinner, and tasted the 2014 Tom Cullity out of magnum after dinner, which to this day remains one of my favourite vintages of the past decade.

After dinner we were ushered into the red barrel hall where we had the chance to explore various expressions of Cabernet and its friends Malbec and Petit Verdot. There was a feeling of excitement and intrigue in the air, mingled with the rich aroma of the barrel hall and the alluring scent of Cabernet.

I honestly thought we were going to get tattooed or something that night! It felt like an induction into an exclusive club and something very fun to be a part of. Dark night, warm fire and Cabernet filled cool air. Really special.


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