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.
I was lucky enough to get a few hours with Vanya Cullen on her property in mid-October, a fascinating exploration of culture, history, agriculture, spirituality and art, as always. I got a preview of this wine and ran a rule over some of the 2018 barrels alongside. I got to see a the two new Vanya cabernet wines too. So many outstanding wines to emerge. The shift to alternative vessels is giving the wines further levity and freshness, it feels. This wine sees about 30% new oak which is joined by both ceramic and amphora-matured chardonnay. The wine is a result of vineyard selection, with fruit sourced from four blocks of chardonnay. Vanya explained that there is no recipe for this wine, however, that it is always done on fruit selection from vine. Finely wrought wine, lacy and pure, shows incredible acid line and a web of mineral, fruit and light savouriness surrounding. Drives with authority and precision across the palate, feels very pure, energetic and refreshing. An exceptional wine here, you get that from texture alone. Stellar release. Tasted: Oct 18; Alcohol: 13.5%; Price: $115; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2018-2030+; Rated: 96 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
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. Drink by: 2035; Price: $127.00; Date Tasted: Dec 2018; Alcohol: 13.5%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion
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. Rating: 97 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review
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. Drink or hold. Rating: 97 Points; James Suckling
Oh gosh, this is good Chardonnay. There is such precision and purity, yet it reveals complexity and layers that continue to emerge from the palate. The fruit is exceptional off these biodynamic vineyards, and then in the wines fermentation with wild yeasts and then a further five months in barriques and puncheons have played out with just the right touch. It’s a classy wine that captures vineyard and vintage to perfection. Rating: 98 Points; Ray Jordan; The West Australian Wine Guide 2019
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