All Cullen Wines are grown on a certified Biodynamic, Carbon Neutral and naturally powered estate. Grapes are harvested by hand on fruit and flower days according to the astrological calendar. The wines have no additions of yeast, acid or malolactic culture, and are in this sense natural wines which express the place and land on which they are grown, the vintage and the people.
Has the usual estate blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and malbec (92/4/3/1%), the grapes hand picked on fruit days between early February and early March, the components matured in French oak (50% new) for 13 months. The perfumed bouquet has already soaked up the new oak, the purity of the fruit in a cassis-redcurrant-blueberry spectrum. The small berries of a quasi-drought summer might have imposed awkward tannins, but the medium-bodied palate is so perfectly balanced it has a drinking span of 30 years and counting. Drink to: 2055; Price: $150.00; Date Tasted: Feb 2022; Alcohol: 13%; Rating: 98 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
Australian wine lovers have become accustomed to paying serious prices for cellar-worthy icon red wine releases. Star new-release wines from labels including Penfolds, Henschke and Torbreck can set you back $800 a bottle and are full-throttle towards the $1000 mark. And prices for top Bordeaux, Burgundies and Barolos are often beyond the wallets of mere mortals. That's what makes the Cullen Diana Madeline from Margaret River in Western Australia quite remarkable. This organic and biodynamic icon from a winery that last year celebrated its 50th anniversary is one of Australia's most loved red wines but still sells for only $150. For many that still makes it a "special occasion" wine but for aficionados, and those with a bit of credit on their cards, it is a super buy. I love the combination of bright dark fruit, savoury notes and ferrous hints in a wine that will cellar well but also offers immediate enjoyment. Rating: 97.5 Points; Winsor Dobbin
Great detail in that the wine comes from nine picks across fruit and flower days of the biodynamic calendar, spread across a month-ish lunar cycle. The Cullen way. Another beautiful, soulful release, this one a bit darker, a bit bolder, a mesh of tannins over train tracks and tension, but a wine of significant pedigree and wow factor nonetheless. Dark chocolate and graphite aromas with salted plum, black olive, bay leaf and oyster shell. Flavours ripple with authority in that weave of tannin, dark choc again, panforte perhaps more apt, dark cherry, saline minerality, more bayleaf and cinnamon spice. Succulent in the finish, mouth-watering and very fresh. Compelling stuff. Tasted: Feb 2022 Alcohol: 13%; Price: $150; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2024-2040+; Rated: 96 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
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