2023 Grace Madeline
Grace Madeline wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (75%) and Semillon (25%), planted on their own roots in 1976 on Cullen Estate. These vines are certified biodynamic and carbon neutral. It is fitting that the wine be named after Grace Madeline, Diana Madeline’s mother. Grace, originally from London, lived most of her life in Tasmania and was a suffragette, who loved nature as well as being mother to three daughters.
The first blend of this type was made at Cullen Wines in 1979, from Cullen Estate fruit and it has become one of the flagship blends of the region since that time. The fruit was harvested in March 2023 between 6th March 12th March on the full moon fruit days and some flower and fruit days. The phenolic tension and fine tannins comes in part from overnight skin contact and texture from barrel fermentation and concrete egg fermentation. The average time in oak for the Sauvignon Blanc after natural yeast, fermentation, with no additions of acid yeast etc. was 8 months in 100% biodynamic puncheons, 85% of which were new. The Semillon component was tank fermented. This wine will age well under screwcap for at least 15 years.
Vintage 2023 was a low yielding vintage which resulted in some stunning grapes and hence quality wine. In particular Cabernet Sauvignon exhibited the best typicity of varietal manifestation. The 52 year old vines consistently yield well year on year out.
The growing conditions until December were cold and wet and due to the negative Indian dipole and La Niña effects finishing in December 2022 we had an unprecedented dry spell from December until the end of harvest.
Small berry size particularly in white grape varieties produced beautifully balanced wines; Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Malbec all outstanding.
Vineyard: 100% Cullen Vineyard
Varieties: 75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon
Harvest: Picked between 6th and 15th March on fruit and flower days, including a MOSH full Moon fruit day.
Oak: 8 months in 85% new oak