This was the coolest and latest vintage since 1982. A much lighter colour when young (’08) and now ('14), nonetheless bright and clear. From the outset and through to today, an elegant, fresh and lively wine, light- to medium-bodied and well-balanced, with peak drinking over the next decade (to 2024). 15 months in French oak, 40% new; 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. 93/94 points, James Halliday (winecompanion.com.au).
Perfumed, pretty and quite leafy yet ripe enough with beef and blackcurrant/mulberry aromas backed with fine cedar oak. It's lively, fresh and cool and certainly exhibits some firmer green characters but overall comes over as a wine of clarity, although one of austerity too. I'm sure it will age beautifully. One for the classicists rather than the hedonists. Gary Walsh (winefront.com.au).
Bright red. An expansive, compelling bouquet offers red- and blackcurrant, spicy cherry, rose and licorice scents. Juicy red and dark berry flavours display liqueur-like depth and are propped up by fine-grained tannins. Sappy, mineral-accented cherry and blackcurrant flavours linger on the finish, which is crisp and precise. Not a heavyweight, and I suspect that those who see all Australian red wines through a Barossa Shiraz lens will find this wanting -- maybe even a European wannabe. 92 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous.
Diana Madeline is amazingly consistent from year to year, and the 2006 continues that tradition. It’s maybe a touch fuller-bodied and rounder than some years, but maintains a sense of restraint and a timeless blend of tobacco, cedar and cassis, finishing with a flourish of mint. 90 points, Wine Enthusiast.
Unsurprisingly in this cool year, the emphasis is on red fruits – redcurrant and cherry, fresh, yet with a creamy. sweet pureed character. Tannins are ripe but present. Very much a reflection of the vintage, it’s charming if atypical. Sarah Ahmed, The Wine Detective.
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.