Cullen Diana Madeline

James Suckling 95/100 Wine Companion 98/100
Country, Region: Western Australia, Margaret River
Grape: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cab Franc, 1% Malbec
Vintage: 2020
ABV: 13%
£99.00 Single bottle
Tasting Notes
Producer details
In the vineyard
In the winery
In the press

This is a bright, layered and gently herbal cabernet-based blend with a deliciously textured array of black fruit, mint chocolate, iodine, olive stones, eucalyptus and bay leaves. Medium-bodied, with firm yet well-integrated tannins. Savoury. Creamy and delicate at the end.

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with a philosophy summed up in three simple words: Quality, Integrity and Sustainability. Having celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2021, it is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Western Australia's famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for biodynamic wines that receive great acclaim. Di and Kevin's youngest daughter Vanya, who has worked at the winery since 1983, became Chief Winemaker in 1989 and Managing Director in 1999. She has worked tirelessly to develop the winery over this time, first introducing organic farming in 1998 and then, in 2004, saw it classified as a fully certified biodynamic estate. In 2000, she was named the Qantas/The Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year, becoming the first Western Australian, and the first woman, to do so. In 2019, celebrating 30 years at the helm, Vanya received double Winemaker of the Year honours at both the Australian Women in Wine Awards and the Halliday Wine Companion Awards. James Halliday, Australia's best-known critic, said, Her commitment to improving Cullen Wines while leaving the world a better place is reflected in the winery's carbon-neutral and naturally powered status. This commitment was further recognised by Vanya being awarded James Halliday's inaugural Viticulturalist of the Year award, with Tyson Stelzer noting Vanya Cullen possesses a deeply emotional connection with her vines and her land like nobody else. In 2023, Vanya was awarded the Order of Australia (OAM) for her services to viticulture and wine. All wines produced here are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Vineyards in Wilyabrup, a sub-region of Margaret River. In order to promote this part of Margaret River, Vanya Cullen has decided to specify Wilyabrup on the Cullen label. Both Cullen sites are certified biodynamic and the wines are made with no additions of yeast, acid or tannins. Cullen's flagship wines, the Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon and the Kevin John Chardonnay, are among the very best of their styles in Australia and beyond. The Grace Madeleine Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon is made from hand-picked fruit exclusively from the Cullen Vineyard. Three quarters of the wine is aged in new French oak for five months, adding complexity and depth. The Mangan Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon and the Red Moon Malbec/Petit Verdot/Merlot, are fruit-driven wines that express the site on which the grapes are grown. The Mangan East Block is a blend of Malbec and Petit Verdot from fruit grown on the prime eastern corner of the vineyard. It is opulent, vibrant and beautifully balanced. Fermented on its skins in various vessels including amphora, the Amber is a complex, textural Sauvignon Blanc. The Late Harvest Chenin Blanc has aromas of honeysuckle and papaya with a silky texture and refreshing finish on the palate.

Located on the most south-westerly point of Australia, three hours' drive south of Perth, the Margaret River region sprang to life during the 1960s and 1970s.

92% cabernet sauvignon, 4% merlot, 3% cabernet franc and 1% malbec. The hand-harvested grapes are picked when the fruit has achieved optimum tannin ripeness, flavour development and acid balance, usually when the moon is running high. The introduction of sorting tables and minimal handling has further improved quality. Between 10 and 50% of the wine is partially barrel fermented; the rest is given extended maceration before further maturation in 30% new, tightly-grained French oak.

James Suckling 95/100 Wine Companion 98/100

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