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Cullen Margaret River Diana Madeline 2018 £79.95
CULLEN MARGARET RIVER DIANA MADELINE
Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon-neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.
The soils at the Cullen vineyard are old granite and gravelly, sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 11.33 hectares and was planted in 1971. The Merlot was planted in 1976 and covers 1.76 hectares. The conversion to biodynamic viticulture is believed to have produced better fruit, the character of which is preserved during the winemaking process. Vanya, the winemaker, believes that these characters are best retained by bottling under Stelvin.
This was a vintage of great quality and quantity. The length of the vintage gave the grapes time to develop aromatics and flavours not found in the shorter, warmer seasons. It was a classic, traditional wet winter, followed by slightly cooler than average spring and summer temperatures. Excellent yields across all varieties were equally matched to quality; very welcome indeed after three years of tiny yields. Fruit for Diana Madeline was harvested between the 12th of March and 12th of April.
The grapes were handpicked and carefully sorted. Each variety was fermented separately with naturally occurring yeasts. Fermentation lasted an average of 35 days. The wine then spent a further 14 days on the skins to maximise the extraction of tannins and aromas. The wine was then aged for 18 months in French oak barriques, 40% of which were new.
Bright deep purple, the 2018 Diana Madeline shows fantastic complexity and vibrancy on the nose with layers of dark fruits complimented by herbal notes. Elegant and poised; silky on the palate, delivering blueberry and currant flavours entwined with subtle cacao bitterness.
James Halliday - 98 Points - Gold - Top 100 Wines 2019
"A wild-fermented Bordeaux blend matured for 18 months in French oak (40% new). It has waves of complexity, changing shape as the luxuriant cassis swells on the mid-palate, then finishes with ripe, textured tannins. The overall freshness is perfection."
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