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The Story

Strikingly similar conditions in terms of weather and yields to the previous vintage. Very low yields of 1.39 tonne/hectare with no rain in January, February and until the end of harvest in March. One big difference was the Marri blossom which did not flower until after the harvest causing bird pressure. This is a wine of great purity and refined elegance. The Chardonnay grapes were hand harvested on fruit and flower days from 39 year old vines. They were then whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in barriques. It underwent natural malolactic fermentation prior to receiving 5 months of oak maturation.


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Written Notes

Tasted blind. Matured for 8 months in French oak (30% new).
Precise, fresh fruit with green apple, lovely subtle butter notes, layered and mealy on the finish, Sophisticated and savoury.

  • 91p

Named after Kevin John Cullen, a pioneer of the Margaret River wine region, Vanya Cullen's father. All the Chardonnay grapes were grown in three separate blocks in Cullen's own vineyards, where the vines are more than 30 years old, having been planted in 1976 and 1988. Aspect is mostly level or southerly and the soils are old granite and sandy loam. Winemaker Vanya Cullen feels that 'her conversion to biodynamic viticulture has given better fruit, the character of which she has preserved during the winemaking process'. Late harvest, 12–28 February. Yields were lower than the previous year. Hand-harvested on fruit and flower days, whole-bunch, basket-pressed and the juice racked to barrel. One parcel of fruit was whole-bunch fermented in amphorae before maturing in puncheons. One component in concrete egg. Slow fermentation preferred. The wine underwent 100% natural malolactic conversion and spent a total of eight months in French oak (a combination of puncheons and a single barrique), of which 30% was new. Great care is taken in the temperature of the cellar. The wine had minimal bentonite fining and no filtering or cold stabilisation. Screwcap. RS 2.9 g/l, TA 7.2 g/l, pH 3.2.Carbon neutral, certified biodynamic, certified organic, sustainable, vegetarian, vegan.

Elegant, citrus, gently mealy. Light touch of oak spice. A hint of something more savoury, perhaps that is the oak. Stone fruit. Layers of flavour and texture. Incredibly refined, almost polite. Great concentration and freshness combined. There’s depth and richness and yet such refinement. As it opens, a hint of orange, even lime, and even something lightly floral. Oak is so, so subtle but it brings complexity. Gets more smoky as it opens but no struck-match reduction, and more stone-fruit flavours. Also a citrus core of freshness. One of the most complex but non-shouty Chardonnays I have tasted. Impressive length and the sort of wine you just want to sit with all night. Even better when you can swallow it (as I did at the end of the tasting). (JH)

  • 95p
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Margaret River, Margaret River
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