QUALITY, INTEGRITY, SUSTAINABILITY: The Cullen vineyard and winery is carbon neutral, biodynamically farmed and dry-grown with an `A' grade certification from the Biological Farmers Association. Grapes are the only ingredients in Cullen wines. VINTAGE NOTES: A wetter than average winter followed by a warm and dry spring contributed to excellent flowering and fruit-set. Average temperatures through summer and above average rainfall allowed for canopies to continue to function well, soil moisture reserves to be kept up and berry development to remain on track. Healthy, balanced yields (average to above average) were experienced across all varieties. The moderate temperatures through late summer provided for excellent fruit composure, with great intensity of flavor. TASTING NOTES: A fragrant combination of tropical notes with honeydew melon, papaya and some citrus. The palate is fruit driven with green apple, passion fruit and touches of stone fruit. Finishing dry with plenty of citrus flavor.WINEMAKER: Vanya Cullen
FOUNDED: 1971 by Kevin & Diana CullenOWNER: The Cullen FamilyWINEMAKER: Vanya CullenCLIMATE: MediterraneanPROFILE: A founding winery of Margaret River, Cullen was established in 1971 by pioneering winemakers Kevin and Diana Cullen. In redefining the style of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the 1970s, the fledgling estate caught the attention of the nation. Since then, an unrelenting commitment to quality, integrity and sustainability has positioned Cullen as one of Australia's greatest estates - and Margaret River as one of the nation's premier wine-producing regions. The mature, biodynamically farmed vineyard produces elegant, age-worthy wines that draw world-wide critical acclaim, including what is regarded by many as the country's definitive Bordeaux blend.VITICULTURE: The Cullen vineyard is one of Margaret River's greatest viticultural sites. Carefully selected by founders Kevin and Diana Cullen, the well-draining, gravelly soils are complemented by a maritime climate of warm, sun-filled days tempered by the surrounding Indian and Southern oceans. The mature, low-yielding vineyard is dry-grown, hand-tended and trellised according to variety. In addition, since taking the reins in 1989, Vanya Cullen has steered the estate through biodynamic certification, with the aim of optimizing soil health and achieving a pure expression of site. This union of outstanding natural attributes and constant evolution provides Cullen with a rare platform from which to craft benchmark quality, terroir driven wines.WINEMAKING: The foundation of the Cullen winemaking philosophy is to achieve optimum site expression with minimal intervention. Having inherited a vineyard that yields some of the Margaret River region's most distinctive fruit, Vanya Cullen all but lets the wines make themselves. The team painstakingly hand-sorts all fruit, makes use of indigenous yeasts, avoids all winemaking additions, uses French oak judiciously and minimizes fining and filtering prior to bottling. In this way, the Cullens are working with nature rather than attempting to control it, therein allowing the wines to be defined by a sense of place rather than winemaking techniques.
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