89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 2% each of Malbec and Cabernet Franc blended after fermentation, hand-picked and sorted, destemmed (66% whole berries), wild-fermented in stainless steel, average 23 days on skins, matured in French oak (69% new) for 18 months. Right in the slot of the style established (with some polishing and refining) over the years. The complexity of the texture and structure is second to none, led by the born-to-rule Cabernet, the other varieties obviously of minor importance, but important nonetheless. The might of the tannins is the key to this great wine. 98 points, James Halliday, Wine Companion.
I was absolutely blown away by the quality of this new release from Vanya Cullen. It is probably the best young Australian red wine I have ever tasted – an instant classic. It is still youthful but everything is beautifully balanced. With fruit intensity (think dark currants and berries), quality French oak (69% new barriques), hints of tobacco leaf and superb structure, this is on the same level as first and second growth Bordeaux from the best years. A tribute to Cullen’s mother, Margaret River wine industry pioneer Diana Cullen, this is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon with small batches of Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The bees knees... You won’t be disappointed. 99 points, Winsor Dobbin (winsordobbin.com).
Ripe red cherry, blackcurrant and redcurrant, baking spices, violet and mint perfume, perfect mocha oak in support. Medium-bodied, fresh and vibrant, bursting with small-berried fruit, a fine spread of pitch-perfect graphite tannin, clean acid line, beautiful mouth-perfume, and a savoury tobacco-laced finish of soaring length. Pulsating with life and Cabernet purity. A worthy sibling to the monumental 2012 vintage. Drink 2024-2050. 97 points, Gary Walsh (winefront.com.au).
An always-elegant Cabernet; the length and power of this wine is mindblowing. Grown from a vineyard managed biodynamically, the soil and micro-organisms have helped make it one of Australia’s most revered and sought-after Cabernets. 97 points, David Prestipino, WA Today.
This is made up of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot (4%), Merlot (3%), Malbec (2%) and Cabernet Franc (2%), reflecting the Cullen vineyard’s cropping levels. Red and blue berries and freshly-sharpened pencil aromas are layered and complex. It’s concentrated, but light in the mouth, with dense, fine tannins. 96 points, Ben Thomas, The Weekly Review (WA).
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 2% each of Malbec and Cabernet Franc blended after fermentation, hand-picked and sorted, destemmed (66% whole berries), wild-fermented in stainless steel, average 23 days on skins, matured in French oak (69% new) for 18 months. Right in the slot of the style established (with some polishing and refining) over the years. The complexity of the texture and structure is second to none, led by the born-to-rule Cabernet, the other varieties obviously of minor importance, but important nonetheless. The might of the tannins is the key to this great wine. 98 points, Wine Companion.
Located three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is Western Australia’s most prestigious wine-growing region. Serious vineyard development began only in the late 1960’s following the publication of a report by John Gladstones in 1965 stating that the area had a similar climate to Pomerol or St Emilion, with low frost risk, plenty of sunshine and equable temperatures within the growing season promoting even ripening. Margaret River’s climate is warm and maritime, with some cooling influence provided by southeast trade winds. The soils derive from granitic and a gneissic rock over which laterite has formed. The region can be divided in three sub-regions: the cooler south between Yallingup and Karridale with predominantly lateritic gravelly loamy sands and sandy loams; the warm and sunnier Willyabrup in the centre with predominantly gravelly loams, but some gritty sandy loams and granitic gravels; and Margaret River in the north with similar soils, but slightly cooler temperatures. This is entirely consistent with style; the wines from Willyabrup being more generous than the highly structured wines of the north and the elegant styles of the south. Margaret River is best known for high quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and top notch Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Over the years, the region has established an astonishing reputation illustrating a consistency in quality and a strongly focused winemaking culture.
CullenIn 1966 Diana and Dr Kevin Cullen planted a trial 0.4 ha vineyard on their sheep and cattle property at Willyabrup in the Margaret River. A new vineyard was planted in 1971 with further plantings made over the subsequent decades. Winemaker and environmentalist Vanya Cullen, a strong believer in biodynamic viticulture, has harnessed the rhythms of the cosmos, earth’s energy and vitality to "achieve greater individuality of site through working with nature rather than against it". Meticulous attention to vineyard management results in fruit of exceptional intensity, concentration, tannin ripeness and acid balance. The “quest for quality, integrity and sustainability” is also reflected in the carbon neutral and naturally powered winery where sound winemaking techniques and skills are married with empathy for vineyard character.