Here is a marvelous example of what can be done with these two varieties. The savvy was matured in oak for six months of which 70 per cent was new. There’s been acid added and minimal fining so what you get is a wine that sings from the glass with a brilliant vibrancy. Will handle extended cellaring.
This has quite a high proportion of new French oak and yet clever winemaking has ensured it is the fruit that as the controlling voice. Slightly glassy and with deeper tropical notes in the background it presents as a vibrant lively expression of the style. Wild, yeast, no acid and minimal fining allow the wine to present in a pristine manner.
This is a distinctive bland of predominant petit verdot with a smaller percentage of malbec. It’s soft and generous with supple tannins and lush vibrant bright fruit. The oak, which is all seasoned, is so well integrated. A wine of such poise and balance. Lovely stuff.
Quite a big and bold style of chardonnay which was symptomatic of the vintage. In saying that it retains an essential control, and tight focus of fruit and oak with a fine precise acid arrowing the palate to a very long finish. Deep complexity with a vanillin, lemon curd and roasted cashew mix providing such depth and complexity. Rich and lavish and certainly a wine that will appeal to those who like them a little bigger and fuller.
This is a cabernet dominant blend of the five major Bordeaux varieties off biodynamic vineyards in the heart of Margaret River. Certainly one of the more robust Diana Madelines of recent years. Tannins are firm and substantial while the fruit is full and generous. Firmly structured and steadfast with its solid core of fruit showing that characteristic flesh and fleshy generosity. Interestingly, a wine that started as the quintessential cab merlot blend contains just 2% merlot in this vintage.
Cullen Mangan Vineyard merlot malbec petit verdot 2014 ($29)
A beautiful example of this interesting combination of varieties. The fruit is so vibrant and alive with brilliant intensity and power. The use of 35 per cent new oak has added a lovely aromatic and structured lift which complements the wine perfectly. A little spiciness sits so harmoniously with the rich chocolate and dark plummy fruit.
SCORE 94/100 CELLAR 12 years
Cullen Cullen Vineyard sauvignon blanc Semillon 2013 ($35)
This wonderful statement of this style is still so tightly held yet there are no edges and it is starting to show some rather delicious fruit characters. Most of the wine gets five months in French oak with a high percentage of it new. Wild fermentation and no added acid has contributed to an outstanding wine of great class and poise.
SCORE 95/100 CELLAR 10 years
Cullen Amber 2014 ($39)
The colour gives it away. The darker colour is consistent with this being a so-called Orange wine. The fruit which is a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc was
fermented on skins in much the same way as red wines with no acid added and then no fining. It’s as natural as possible. The result is a wine of texture and rich cream
flavours. An alternative style and worth checking out.
SCORE 92/100 CELLAR 4 years
Cullen Kevin John chardonnay 2013 ($105)
Another stunning and positively compelling chardonnay from Vanya Cullen. There is such a deftness of touch here with a delicacy that belies its lingering power and persistence. Minerally with lightly toasty influences and a touch of wild yeast funk. Precise and focused through the palate to a staggeringly long finish.
SCORE 98/100 CELLAR 8 years
Cullen Diana Madeline 2013 ($115)
Oh my, what a gorgeous wine this is. Great vintage in Margaret River. This is a blend of 73 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 20 per cent merlot and seven per cent cabernet franc. Fragrant and perfumed with beautiful red berry nuances. The palate is an effortless powerhouse brilliantly harnessing firmish chalky tannins and fine grained oak to support the intense and deeply concentrated fruit. Has the structure to support
SCORE 97/100 CELLAR 20 years
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