2015 Diana Madeline Magnum
The growing season for 2015 Diana Madeline was favourable with good spring rains and a warm, dry ripening period. Low yields of 2.47 tons per hectare produced a concentrated elegant wine, bright in colour, pure in fruit flavour concentration, with the classic Cullen Vineyard Wilyabrup cassis, violets, chocolate and ironstone.
It is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc. 100% from the Cullen Vineyard. The primary fermentation took an average 12 days. Skin contact time average of 22 days.
2015 Vintage Report
Strikingly similar harvest to 2014 in terms of weather and yields. Similar rainfall, dry from October to March. One difference was the Marri blossom which did not flower until after harvest, this created a lot of bird pressure.
The time of harvest was almost identical to 2014, finishing mid-March, however the wine styles will be different. 2015 wines are characterised by lots of perfume, purity and great elegance whereas the 2014 wines are about fruit power and purity.
This was only a few millimetres which fell – and this instability somewhat dictated and made the difference between 2014 and 2015 more stressful with the birds. We had 6 people each day checking the nets, getting the birds out and sewing back up the holes.
The vineyard crew were absolutely flat out moving nets around, putting nets on and taking nets off.
I am very happy with the quality but it was incredibly stressful with the birds/low yield combination. Cabernet Sauvignon will be a highlight for Cullen, harvested ripe before the rains on the full moon fruit days.
There was none of this pressure for the 2014 harvest. No cyclone Olwyn dropping 50mm of rain. No early break to the season. After we finished the Cabernet Sauvignon we went straight onto the Mangan Merlot, Mangan Malbec and Mangan Petit Verdot and finished happily on the 11th March.
It was as if at that time autumn came. The nights became cool and the vines went into earthy mode and then the rains came and it became cool. We felt so happy to have the grapes inside the winery, but not so happy to not have the quantity. I guess though if we had high yields we would not have had the grapes ripe as they take longer to ripen with a bigger crop. So we must count our blessings and thank god!
Vineyard: 100% Cullen Vineyard.
Varieties:87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc
Harvest: 24th February to 7th March 2015
Oak: Aged for 17 months in barriques of which 66% were new