x
  • Country ranking ?

    52
  • Producer ranking ?

    2
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

Vanya Cullen has taken her cabernet merlot into the top echelon of Australian Cabernet through dogged determination, curiosity and superb technical skills. The exemplary vineyard site is planted on ancient granitic soils in the central Willyabrup sub-region of Margaret River. Cullen has adopted the principles of biodynamic viticulture to “achieve greater individuality of site through working with nature rather than against it”. This estate style is about freshness and complexity, structure and suppleness. The wines have pronounced cassis and cedar aromas with fine beautifully ripe tannins. Earthy, anise, gamy aromas and flavours develop with age. Diane Madeline Cabernet Merlot is named in memory of Di Cullen who established the winery and vineyard with her husband in 1966 and is pure bottled philosophy.

Top Vintages  2010, 2008, 2004, 2002, 2001,1999,1998,1997,1996,1995,1994

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Wine Information

An extreme change from the cold and disappointing '06, and the vintage that Vanya saw as providing a strong indication as to how they might fare with climate change. There was heat aplenty but rain at the right time ensured “outstanding quality”. Vanya was delighted – there won't be so many sleepless nights about the potential devastation of climate change now.
Yields were very low – 1.84 tonnes/acre for Cabernet, picked in the second week of March; 2.1 for Merlot, picked February 22; 2.34 for Franc, picked March 7; and a miserable 0.9 for Petit Verdot on March 13. The final blend was 84% Cabernet, 8% Merlot and 4% each of Petit Verdot and Franc. Alcohol is 14%. The wine spent just 14 months in oak, 48% new, 40% one-year and 12% two years.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Purple

ending

Endless

flavors

Blackcurrant, Cherry, Plum and Smoky

nose

Complex and Seductive

taste

Ripe and Fresh

Written Notes

And finally yesterday, I tried the 2007 Cullen Diana Madeline. Again, the colour is deep purple, and the style of this wine is quite different from the way this brand has developed over the years. Vanya Cullen has made the wine more delicate over time and lower in alcohol. This one has 14%. The intense blackcurrant fruit is pure and elegant, and the wine sails down the palate like a super-maxi at 15 knots (sorry about this). There are no holes, and the finish is long and intense, supported by an exquisite tannin structure, which also speaks to excellent oak treatment. I can understand why Vanya Cullen has gone the way she has to increase the vitality of the wine, but this is a beautiful example of a full-bodied Cabernet-Merlot from Margaret River.

Score: 96/+++

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Margaret River, Margaret River

Highlights

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