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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.
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.
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.