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2014 Cullen Amber Wine
This wine is the first Amber wine made from Cullen Wines. It is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc coming from our certified Biodynamic vineyards. The idea behind this wine is to make a white wine like a red. The grapes were left on skins and fermented partially before being pressed. The skin contact went from 2 days to 1 month depending on the grape/parcel. The fruit was processed in different vessels: open fermenters, closed tank as well as amphora. This explains some of the complexity and the many layers of this wine. 2014 being an amazing vintage for Semillon, we thought it was great time to launch “Amber”. We look at it being a natural step in creative as well as artisanal winemaking.
1250 dozens produced
Bouquet: Very Complex already with lemon, cumquat, orange blossom and hints of honey.
Palate: This wine has a textured and concentrated palate with great length and persistence. Flavours of figs, dried pears, cream, orange and gentle saltiness on the finish.
Cellar: 10 years
Food: Fantastic as an aperitif or with Rosemary and salt crusted chicken.
Vineyard: 64% Mangan Vineyard, 36% Cullen Vineyard.
Varieties: 64% Semillon, 36% Sauvignon Blanc.
Harvest: 1st and 16th March 2014
Oak: 79% of the wine in oak for 4 months in Tonnellerie Bordelaise and Louis Latour barrels. 100% new oak.
Tony Key – The Key Report, 31 July 2015
Wine reviews appear rarely in TKR, but on occasion there is an exception, and this week is one.
Cullen ‘Amber Wine’ Margaret River 2014: A blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc from the Cullen certified biodynamic vineyards. Vanya Cullen agreed it was a leap of faith to make this wine, and she really did go for it, producing 1250 cases on the first run. Some detail: “The skin contact went from two days to one month depending on the grape/parcel. The fruit was processed in different vessels: open fermenters, closed tank as well as amphora.”
It’s a fascinating wine, reminding me of Beaumes de Venise, though it’s not fortified or made from muscat. I had it at lunch, sipping it with a selection of courses; it worked well despite being 15 per cent alcohol. I don’t think it can be drunk in quantity, but a glass in the right place makes it a wonderful wine. It’s brave of Vanya to launch such a new style and I wish her well with it. For me, the quality was outstanding. I rate it an easy 95 points, and for those who have the interest, $39 is within bounds.
Jane Faulkner – www.winematters.com.au
Given Vanya Cullen’s commitment to the environment with her patch of land farmed biodynamically and the winery also synced to the biodynamic calendar, it was only a matter of time before she produced an amber wine – as in a white made just like a red. I am surprised she took so long. Amber is an exciting new addition to the highly regarded Cullen range – a blend of 64% semillon and the remainder sauvignon blanc. The fruit was processed in open fermenters, clay vessels or closed tanks, and depending on the parcel, extended skin contact up to a month, then about 79% of the wine spent four months in new oak. The result? A damn delicious drink and more. It’s a beautiful pale amber hue; round and supple, creamy and nutty with an appealing citrussy-briny character offering another layer of complexity. A wonderful fragrance all figs, dried pears and warm spices, and very much a savoury wine. More than anything, Amber is all about texture with phenolics adding to it shape. A stunning debut. Cellaring: now to 2019. Score: 95
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front 20 February 2015 – 92 points
New release. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Golden-orange hue. Assertive red berry, baked apple, quince and cinnamon scents. Smells great. Flavours are sweetish, dense with stone fruit, ripe apples and pears, pulses across the palate with firmness, crunch and a lick of heat. Deeply-textured wine, rich, powerful and fringed with chalky tannins. Nuttiness rolls through the palate with sweetness and savouriness of husks. Mellows with time open – approach with an hour in a decanter, best drunk with a chill knocked into it, but not cold. Makes you sit up and pay attention. Compelling.
Craft Wine Store – Wine of the Week!
2014 Cullen Amber. Vanya Cullen, Margaret River
I guess it was just a matter of time before Vanya Cullen had a crack at a skin contact white, after all the whole Cullen estate has been slowly returning to the earth for a decade or more: biodynamic farming, carbon neutral, naturally powered. It’s a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc from the adjoining Cullen and Mangan vineyards, fermented on skins and (the majority) aged in new oak. It’s a fascinating wine.