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2017 Cullen Amber Wine
This new release of our Amber wine is made exclusively of Sauvignon Blanc selected from our certified Biodynamic Cullen vineyard. The grapes were left on skins and fermented partially before being pressed. The skin contact went from 7 days to 18 days depending on the 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. We look at it being a natural step in creative as well as artisanal winemaking.
2017 Vintage Report
It was a surprise and joy beyond our expectations to experience the 2017 harvest. I think it’s fair to say that it was challenging in both the vineyard and winery, however such conditions have delivered great rewards! Spanning three months, harvest commenced with Cullen Chardonnay on the 8th February, a Moon Opposite Saturn flower day. The last harvests being the Mangan Vineyard Malbec and Petit Verdot, the dates coinciding with the full moon and flower days on the 11th and 12th of April.
It was a classic, traditional wet winter, followed by slightly cooler than average spring and summer temperatures. This allowed for excellent canopy growth, good slow accumulation of flavour and ripeness in the fruit, maintaining well composed acidity, resulting in brilliantly balanced fruit, naturally. Excellent yields across all varieties were equally matched to quality. We were hoping for better quantities of grapes with quality to match and after three years of tiny yields we finally had the quantities we were hoping for.
The 2016-17 growing season, had above average rainfall for the calendar year, 1070mm, up 17% on average, and slightly cooler, below average temperatures for the spring and summer of the 2017 vintage.
Bud-burst dates were on par, however cold and stormy weather in October contributed to a slow start. Fine conditions in November, with below average rainfall and above average temperatures, allowed the growing season to really get going, veraison only slightly delayed.
Above average rainfall for the month of March 2017, with rain falling on over 30% of the days for the month made harvest decisions tricky. However, below average rainfall and fine weather for the month of April supplied a nice finish for the 2017 vintage. We had three moon opposite Saturn events (one each month). I would say that it was a great vintage for all varieties but in particular chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon.
2017 was a vintage of great quality and quantity.
Colour: Pale Amber.
Bouquet: Very Complex already with orange peel, caramel, almonds and a hint of honeysuckle.
Palate: This wine has a textural and concentrated palate with great length and persistence. Flavours of orange, toffee and gentle saltiness on the finish. It is a tannic wine
Cellar: 10 years.
Food: Fantastic as an aperitif or with Manchego cheese and a touch of Cullen Honey.
Vineyard: 100% Cullen Vineyard.
Varieties: 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Harvest: 7th, 21st and 23rd of March 2017.
Oak: 100% of the wine in oak for 2 months of which 25% was new oak.