Light, bright yellow hue, with a fresh and yet complex bouquet which is driven by refined fruit aromas, the oak and artifact is very much in the background. The complexities are there but subtle and the wine is still very young and unevolved. Bright acidity is in perfect harmony with the wine; the palate is refined and taut, long and beautifully modulated. Great line and length. A superb chardonnay, which is likely to offer even more if cellared a year or two. (To be released on November 22, 2018)
96 points, Huon Hooke (July 2018)
Medium yellow colour with a savoury, complex bouquet of creamy lees and restrained custard apple nuances, very subtle toasty oak notes, and the palate is very tight, refined and intense, with grapefruit and lightly-toasted nut flavours. The flavours are beautifully harmonised and the wine is long and refined, with elegance and grace. A gorgeous Chardonnay.
97 points, Huon Hooke (December 2018)
Estate-grown, hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed, wild-fermented (including mlf) in barriques, amphorae and a ceramic egg, blended and matured in French oak (30% new) for 5 months. Splendidly complex, yet singular in its mouthfeel and length. Its finish is its greatest strength, on another plane.
97 points, Wine Companion (December 2018)
This has a lemon-cream edge to the nose with white peaches and a gentle edge of grilled hazelnuts, pie crust and pastry. The palate is super fresh, lithe and juicy with a tangy core of white-peach and lemon and lime-sorbet flavor that holds the finish. So elegant yet concentrated and long.
97 points, JamesSuckling.com (May 2019)
The 2017 Kevin John Chardonnay features gentle notes of toast and honey overlaid on a core of fig, citrus fruit and white peaches. Medium-bodied, it's creamy in texture yet taut and crisp, with a long finish that ends on a dusty, phenolic note. It should drink well for a decade or so.
94 points, Wine Advocate (January 2020)
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.