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The Diana Madeline is one of the true icon wines of Australia.
Produced by one of the most respected and renowned wineries in the Margaret River, Cullen Wines, Diana Madeline represents the pinnacle of Australian viticultural and winemaking prowess and is unsurprisingly one of the top 5 most collectable wines in the country.
The Cullen estate is farmed with an almost militant adherence to the principals of biodynamic farming. Owner/winemaker Vanya Cullen is one of the most outspoken advocates of the benefits of these practices in the industry and her results speak for themselves.
The 2014 vintage has been touted as one of the finest in Diana’s illustrious history.
“Pulsating with life and Cabernet purity.” is how Gary Walsh described it in his huge 97 point review. Windsor Dobbin was positively blown away in his 99 point review claiming that “It is probably the best young Australian red wine I have ever tasted – an instant classic.”
There isn’t much more to be said other than, if you want to try the very best that Australia has to offer, the 2014 Diana Madeline is a wine you need in your cellar.
What It Tastes Like
“Ripe red cherry, blackcurrant and redcurrant, baking spices, violet and mint perfume, perfect mocha oak in support. Medium bodied, fresh and vibrant, bursting with small berried fruit, a fine spread of pitch perfect graphite tannin, clean acid line, beautiful mouth-perfume, and a savoury tobacco laced finish of soaring length. Pulsating with life and Cabernet purity. A worthy sibling to the monumental 2012 vintage.” - Gary Walsh
99 points “I was absolutely blown away by the quality of this new release from Vanya Cullen (actually it was a sneak peek and the wine will be released next month). It is probably the best young Australian red wine I have ever tasted – an instant classic. It is still youthful but everything is beautifully balanced. With fruit intensity (think dark currants and berries), quality French oak (69% new barriques), hints of tobacco leaf and superb structure, this is on the same level as first and second growth Bordeaux from the best years. A tribute to Cullen’s mother, Margaret River wine industry pioneer Diana Cullen, this is a blend of 89% cabernet sauvignon with small batches of petit verdot, merlot, malbec and cabernet franc. The bees knees and I’m happy to give it 99/100 (not something I do very often). You won’t be disappointed.”
- Windsor Dobbin
98 points. “89% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit verdot, 3% merlot and 2% each of malbec and cabernet franc blended after fermentation, hand-picked and sorted, destemmed (66% whole berries), wild-fermented in stainless steel, average 23 days on skins, matured in French oak (69% new) for 18 months. Right in the slot of the style established (with some polishing and refining) over the years. The complexity of the texture and structure is second to none, led by the born to rule cabernet, the other varieties obviously of minor importance, but important nonetheless. The might of the tannins is the key to this great wine.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
97 points “MB will likely be aghast that I’m reviewing a wine from Margaret River that only arrived today. Hot off the press. Hot off the truck. Aside that, it looks great! Very easy to rate.
Ripe red cherry, blackcurrant and redcurrant, baking spices, violet and mint perfume, perfect mocha oak in support. Medium bodied, fresh and vibrant, bursting with small berried fruit, a fine spread of pitch perfect graphite tannin, clean acid line, beautiful mouth-perfume, and a savoury tobacco laced finish of soaring length. Pulsating with life and Cabernet purity. A worthy sibling to the monumental 2012 vintage.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
The growing season for 2014 Diana Madeline was favourable with good spring rains and a warm ripening period. We had no rain at all during January till the harvest in March. Low yields of 3.15 tons per hectare produced a concentrated wine bright in colour, pure in fruit flavour concentration with the classic Wilyabrup cassis, violets, chocolate and ironstone. It is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. 100% from the Cullen Vineyard. The primary fermentation took an average 14 days. Skin contact time average 49 days.
2014 Vintage Report
Good rain during growing season with no rain at all during January, February and to the end of harvest in March. Low yields and extraordinary compositions with low ph and good acids and flavours just building and building as the grapes continued to ripen. The result is wines across the board which are big in flavour and style. A vintage with long lasting wines of larger than life character.
Colour: Deep crimson hues with magenta edges. Bouquet: Fantastic complexity and vitality with layers of well ripened dark fruits enhanced by gorgeous leafy notes. Palate: Structured and fruit driven, the palate presents blackcurrant fruit and lovely spicy nuances finishing with fine grained tannins. Subtle layers of complexity arise from fruit harvested at the pinnacle of ripeness. Cellar: 30 plus years
Vineyard: 100% Cullen Vineyard Varieties: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc Harvest: 21st February and 11th March 2014 Oak: Aged for 18 months in French barriques of which 69% were new Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
The Cullen estate is farmed with an almost militant adherence to the principals of biodynamic farming. Owner/winemaker Vanya Cullen is one of the most outspoken advocates of the benefits of these practices in the industry and her results of her carbon neutral vineyard speak for themselves. Her stable of wines are regarded as one of the most elite in Western Australia, if you like Margaret River wines you are going to love Cullen.
Margaret River is recognised as one of the country’s finest wine growing regions. The quality of the region’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay rival the very best in the world. But Margaret River is no two-trick-pony. There, Tempranillo and Malbec are excelling, Touriga Nacional seems to be quite at home, Chenin Blanc is getting serious and even pockets of Nebbiolo are rearing their heads. Watch this space. Who knows what new surprises are just around the corner from this famous region.
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