Vanya Cullen was in town last week and presented an insightful vertical tasting of Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay (2010-2015) and Cullen Diana Madeline (2010-2015). It pretty much picked up where I left off at this prestigious Margaret River estate’s extraordinary 40th anniversary tasting so, with this post and the 40th anniversary verticals of Cullen Kevin John (2007-2010) & Cullen Diana Madeline (1981-2010), you could call it game, set and match! Until the next releases….And that would be the fun in wine.
Indeed, looking ahead, Cullen reported that 2017’s notoriously long (3 months versus 1 month for the previous 3 years) vintage produced “really good quality and quantity.” Although the weather was very changeable, there was very little disease, she added. This year was also marked by the retirement of Trevor Kent, Cullen’s right-hand man, though the vintage did its best to hang onto him! Stepping into the long-time Production Manager’s big shoes is winemaker Andy Barrett-Lennard, who recently returned to Cullen having started out at the cellar door in 2011.
The viticultural and winemaking team continue to find ways to tread lightly. In addition to being certified biodynamic, Cullen is now naturally powered through wind and solar energy. A key aspect of treading lightly is biodynamic certification, which Cullen also attributes with amplifying “the very loud voice of the vineyard.” Or I should say vineyards. In addition to the original 28ha Wilyabrup vineyard planted by her parents, Kevin John & Diana Madeline Cullen, Cullen Wines recently acquired the 21ha Mangan vineyard (planted 1995 and 1997) from Cullen’s brother Rick (which is located just over the road).
Sarah Ahmed 14/7/17
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