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  • Country ranking ?

    37
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Lamb

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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 whic...

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Written Notes

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. The 2016 vintage is a lovely blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot.

  • 96p

All blocks destemmed only without crushing and then allowed to ferment naturally. The Cabernet Sauvignon (making up 78%) was static fermented, gently pumped over through a splash tub and then left on skins for up to 30 days. This was a particularly brilliant year for tannin ripeness and the time on the skins allowed for the wine to become structurally sound and stabilised. The Malbec and Petit Verdot (making up 22%) were open fermented, hand plunged and pressed dry. The small sections were basket pressed to fine French oak and matured for 19 months. The strength of the fruit in this vintage resulted in a greater contribution from new oak compared to previous vintages.

Ruby with a purple hue. NOSE A deep perfume of wild berries reveals distinctive savoury characters, woodsy Margaret River Forest and briny ocean breeze. Intense and powerful with dried rose petal and violet paired with earthy aromas of mushrooms, the spice of fresh cedar, and linseed oil. Hints of peppermint tree leaves are complemented by enticing notes of a canelé pastry and dark chocolate. PALATE Incredibly luscious, rich fruit builds into a long, fine, powdery tannin structure. Refreshing floral notes are expressed throughout the palate with lingering blackcurrant and blackberry. Medium bodied, the complexity of ocean and nori influence pairs beautifully with notes of chocolate, polished leather and exotic spices. An elegant, palpable and clean dry finish with earthy power and wild berry custard tart rounding out this complex palate.

Dry warm spring conditions at the end of 2015 helped establish a healthy fruit set and better yields than the previous two seasons. January temperatures were warm, interrupted by one rainfall event late in the month, great viticulture management, clean, well-trimmed canopies and subsequent warm weather prevented disease risk. White varieties were harvested throughout February with elegant flavours and bright natural acidity. January rain gave red varieties a timely drink and moderate long, dry conditions finished them with bright fruit and ripe tannins.

Official release May 1, 2020

"This wine is a tribute to not just our founder, but to a man who had the guts to make Margaret River what it is today." - Paul Holmes A Court, owner Vasse Felix

The fruit has a salivating saltiness about it.  Led by red berries and cassis it is pure and concentrated.  This is almost shimmering in its power and drive.  It's very long through the finish, it's hard to know when it ends.  The tannins are fine, crushed powder fine. It speaks of balance and harmony.  It manages to convey power without weight, it is medium bodied and silky.  A gloriously complex, fine and beautiful cabernet.  Their best yet.

"The tannins from that fruit are always different.  The grapes are always the last picked.  The vineyard is unirrigated, it's hand picked.  We're pretty hands-off in the winery.  We incorporate penty of oxygen so the tannins have more access to oxygen from the get-go.  Only one batch of this wine was racked an returned.  The other thing to consider with the texture is the wild yeast - is produces beautiful, clean lees." - Virginia Willcock, Vasse Felix Winemaker

  • 98p
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Origin

Wilyabrup, Margaret River
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