x
  • Country ranking ?

    121
  • Producer ranking ?

    4
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030
  • Food Pairing

    a pata negra ham

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 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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Slightly lower yields in our old Malbec blocks, combined with an incredibly precise Cabernet vintage has seen the portion of Malbec reduced slightly this year. All blocks were destemmed only, without crushing and then allowed to ferment naturally. The Petit Verdot, a small section of Malbec and small portion of Cabernet (making up 24%) were open fermented, hand plunged and pressed dry. The remaining 76% of the Cabernet and Malbec was static-fermented, gently pumped over through a splash tub and then left on skins for up to 34 days; allowing the wine to stabilise and become structurally sound in such a brilliant year for tannin ripeness. The small sections were basket pressed to fine French oak and matured for 18 months with minimal racking.

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The Story

The refurbished icon wine Tom Cullity 2013 from Vasse Felix was launched in Spring 2017. Before 2013 the icon red wine of Vasse Felix was called Heytesbury. The blend is the same Cabernet-Malbec but Tom Cullity is a single-vineyard wine unlike its predecessor.

Vasse Felix, Margaret River's founding wine estate, was established by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity in 1967. Among his first plantings were Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec vines, from which he produced the estate’s first red wine. The Tom Cullity descends from these original vines and represents the pinnacle of Vasse Felix.

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Wine Information

Another text-book vintage in Margaret River with consistent, almost rhythmic temperature patterns throughout the ripening season, resulting in excellent balance and physiological ripeness of fruit. Reasonable yields were obtained despite a handful of blocks being exposed to heavy storms in spring reducing their cropping potential, but overall quality is excellent.

 

 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

2014 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity, Margaret River 99 points / “The red fruits shine here.  This is incredible. Raspberry, pomegranate, red apple skins, pink peppercorns, hints of strawberry, blackcurrant, mulberry, seaweed/nori (an injection of iodine, beetroot).  The tannins are polished, like whipped egg white: chewy and sumptuous.  The flavours extend through the palate and into the length.  Very very long.  I can write long after it is gone.  Alive.  Energy.  Doesn’t want to finish, it doesn’t want to let go.  It lingers.  Great depth of flavour.  Effortlessly long.  In fact… it needs the extra linger time just to make sure its covered all of its flavours and textures.  Super fine, powerful, long, structured and delicate.  Perfect.”

If this represents where Margaret River has come to, then we are indeed in a magnificent place.

To put this into perspective: Margaret River vintage charts are pretty bland – the range is very good to exceptional.  There are ‘typical’ years, ‘plush’ years’, ‘leaner’ years, ‘warmer’ years… but they’re all good.  They all age prodigiously.  The 86’s are still alive and kicking: not bad for a wine region which at the time, was trailblazing towards a brave new wine world.  In 2017, Margaret River celebrated its 50th year, and along with it, Vasse Felix, it’s 50th vintage.  2018 sees the release of the 2014 Tom Cullity.  Perhaps one of the best cabernets to come out of Australia. Perfect.  99 points (or 19.5pts).

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot

(Slightly more Cab than the 2013, less Malbec, the same PV)

100% basket pressed / 100% whole berry ferment / 100% wild yeast / 24 days on skins / French oak barriques 62% new, 38% 1-4 year old, 18 months / Unfined

 

  • 99p
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Information

Origin

Wilyabrup, Margaret River

Inside Information

Dr Tom Cullity was a respected Cardiologist from Western Australia. He discovered the great table wines of Europe in the 1950s while in Britain working at the National Heart Hospital. Upon returning home, Tom set himself a mission to make fine wines in WA. He searched extensively for the perfect plot of land, taking guidance from the research of Professor Harold Olmo (1955) and Dr John Gladstones (1965) before establishing an 8 acre vineyard in Cowaramup called Vasse Felix.

His exhaustive work and persistence led to the successful creation of Margaret River’s first commercial wines. He is remembered for his pioneering role in establishing Margaret River.

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