In October, the 2011 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay was ranked at number five in the influential Wine Spectator Annual Top 100 selection of the thousands of wines that they tasted from all over the world in 2015. The Wine Spectator is the world’s most widely distributed commercially available wine magazine and the ranking is based on price, quality and availability.
Separately, Robert Parker’s subscriber-only wine emails (erobrtparker.com) and website have been the world’s most powerful influences on wine-purchase decisions for the last three decades. They have just published the article Western Australia: Killing It by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, in which the Cullen winery ratings have been lifted into the realms of Australian’s greatest chardonnays and cabernet sauvignons ever.
This latest eRobertParker email (March 8) rates two Cullen chardonnays at 96 points or above, an achievement only ever attained by one other WA wine – of any variety. This is a ‘game-changing’ or status-changing achievement.
Their 2007 Kevin John Chardonnay was the highest rated of these at 97 points, a rating only ever achieved by three other Australian chardonnays, all from Victoria’s highly regarded Giaconda vineyards.
When it comes to cabernet sauvignon the Cullen’s winemaking team has raised WA’s international wine ratings bar even more extraordinarily.
The winery recently launched a once-off limited release cabernet sauvignon from Margaret River’s greatest cabernet year to date, the 2012 Vintage, at $350 per bottle. This is WA’s highest-ever priced wine.
Subsequently the ‘Vanya’ Cabernet Sauvignon gained a 99-point rating from James Halliday – and then gained 97 + points in the latest eRoberParker ratings, a figure never before awarded to any West Australian wine.
It would also appear that, while the eRobertParker website is not easy to do blanket searches on, that on looking up each vintage of Australia’s best-known cabernets, that this 97+ point rating is their highest ever given to an Australian cabernet sauvignon.
Vanya Cullen is lifting WA’s international wine reputation.
By John Jens, Western Suburbs Weekley, March 15