Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2001

Margaret River
WA94, WE92
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
$190.00 $238.00

Vanya also gave me a taste of the 2001 Diana Madeline, one of her best recent vintages of this wine. Very deep garnet black in color, it has complex, savory, meaty aromas with an undercurrent of Chinese dried plums and soy, opening-out with air to espresso, leather and tobacco. At 14% alcohol and with a full body, the rich palate gives concentrated fruit, medium-firm fine tannins, crisp acidity and a long, chewy finish. Drink it now to 2017+. - WA94

This is the flagship red from Cullen's Wilyabrup vineyards in Margaret River. A classic blend of Cabernet and Merlot, aged for 18 months in wood, it has huge, ripe fruit, along with elegance. Flavors of chocolate, mulberry and spices come together with ripe tannins. This wine definitely needs aging—give it five years at least. - WE92

The Winery

Cullen Wines is a producer based in the Wilyabrup region of the Margaret River, in Western Australia. The vineyard was founded in the early 1970s when Kevin and Diana Cullen converted 7.2 hectares (18 acres) of their cattle and sheep farm into vineyard. Now, the winery is famous for its premium wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon and Cabernet Franc.

The Cullen vineyards are dry-farmed, which takes advantage of Wilyabrup's maritime climate and rocky soils, resulting in deep root systems, low yields and intensely flavored grapes. The winemaking is done with as little intervention as possible – wild yeasts are used, as well as minimal fining for the white wines and none at all for the reds.

There are two flagship wines in the Cullen portfolio, the the Kevin John Chardonnay and the Diana Madeline, a Bordeaux Blend. These two wines are named for the estate's founders, and were introduced in 1994 and 2003 following their respective deaths.

The Kevin John is crafted from 40+ year-old vines and aged for nine months in oak, 30 percent of which is new. The Diana Madeline is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from the Cullen Vineyard, and aged in French barriques for 18 months.

These two wines were joined by the Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon, named after their daughter, who assumed the job of chief winemaker in 1989. This wine is limited to 5000 bottles per vintage, and is a blend of old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon and a small portion of Petit Verdot.

James Halliday awarded the 2012 vintage of Vanya 99 points, calling it "extraordinary".

An interesting addition to the Cullen range is Amber, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon made in an orange style. The juice is left to soak on its skins anywhere from two days up to a month depending on the grapes, and spends some time in 100 percent new oak.

This allows for color, tannin and phenolics to be extracted from the skins resulting in a full-bodied, rich wine that is quite different to most Sauvignon Blanc – Semillon blends.  - Information from Wine Searcher

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