Cullen Margaret River Diana Madeline 2019  £89.95

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750ml Red Wine
RRP £99.95
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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.

The defining weather event of the 2019 vintage was frost in October, which significantly reduced yields. Conditions were relatively kind during the growing season, although cooler, with a heavy rain incident in January providing sufficient water levels for the ripening period. Harvest began on 20th March and finished on 3rd April. Yields were lower than the previous year, with the fruit showing amazing flavour intensity and acid retention.

The grapes were hand picked and carefully sorted. Each variety was fermented separately with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation time ranged from 10 - 29 days, before the wine was gently basket-pressed to barrel. It matured for 15 months in French oak, of which 45% was new, in a mixture of biodynamic barriques and puncheons.

Deep cherry-red in colour with youthful purple hues. Deeply perfumed on the nose with delicious aromas of violets, wild rose, mulberry, and cigar box. Both light and intense on the palate with fruit density, balance and opulence. Fine tannins float across the palate, revealing notes of plum, rose and chocolate.

James Halliday's Wine c=Companion - 98 Points - Gold 

"87% Cabernet sauvignon, with 7/3/2/1% merlot/cabernet franc/malbec/petit verdot. Matured for 15 months in barrique, 45% new. Cassis and red licorice on the nose, bay and salt bush, too. The palate is salty and fine with layers upon layers of spice and texture. The tannins are like finely textured gills, stacked as delicately as the folds in a mushroom. The length of flavour unfurls and extends across the palate, taking so long to fade that this entire tasting note is possible off one sip. The rest are just for pleasure. Drink it now, or in 40+ years from now… both will be possible."

Erin Larkin


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