2017 Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
As usual, this blend contains a greater volume of Sauvignon Blanc than Semillon, which reflects the outstanding qualities of the fruit produced by the former variety on the Cullen Vineyard. We picked at optimal ripeness with cooler harvest conditions resulting in elegant wines and displaying beautiful fruit purity.
Complexity and completeness have been enhanced through maturing some of the wine in new oak.
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.
Vineyard: 100% Cullen Vineyard
Varieties: 79% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Semillon
Harvest: 12th to 23rd March 2017
Oak: 45% of the Sauvignon for 3 months in French oak which 7% is new
A brilliant example of this classic blend
Author: Ray Jordan Publication: The West Australian Date: 4th April 2020 Score: 94 points
This beautifully presented wine has been made with minimal intervention. No added acid and little fining with all-natural yeast fermentation, and three months in French oak. Nutty citrus aromas and flavours with a fine delicate palate that pushes effortlessly to a long, precise finish. 94/100
(Best drinking: Now to 2035)
2016 Cullen Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Semillon
As usual, this blend contains a greater volume of Sauvignon Blanc than Semillon, which reflects the outstanding qualities of the fruit produced by the former variety on the Cullen Vineyard. We picked at optimal ripeness with harvest conditions quite similar to 2015 resulting in elegant wines and displaying beautiful fruit purity.