Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot 2001
Bordeaux Red Blends from Australia
Plum red with purple edges. An amalgam of blackcurrant, mulberry, violet and chocolaty aromas. Attractive strong plum flavors fill out the middle. Lovely ripe, fine-grained tannins embrace the palate and make a major contribution to its structure and length.
"Full bright red. Pristine, floral aromas of ripe cassis, small red berries, black olive and dark plum, tightly woven with lightly dusty, cedary oak. Juicy, translucent small berry and dark cherry fruit smartly dressed in creamy oak and bound in fine-grained tannins, delivering a pliant, supple texture and hidden strength. Tobacco-ey merlot and a hint of tar add complexity to this outstanding cabernet.
-International Wine Cellar
Australian Wine Companion - "Its sheer class shines through the trappings of extreme youth, a controlled explosion of blackcurrant, spice and blackberry, ripe tannins and French oak. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This is the flagship red from Cullen's Wilyabrup vineyards in Margaret River. A classic blend of Cabernet and Merlot, aged for 18 months in wood, it has huge, ripe fruit, along with elegance. Flavors of chocolate, mulberry and spices come together with ripe tannins. This wine definitely needs aging—give it five years at least."
A founding winery of Margaret River, established by Diana and Kevin Cullen in 1971. It is now regarded as one of Australia’s greatest estates, producing what many critics believe to be the country’s definitive Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. The white wines (both Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon) are also regarded among the nation’s best.
Daughter of Di and Kevin, Vanya, took over winemaking duties in 1989. In 2000, Vanya was honored as Australia’s Winemaker of the Year.
The 72 acre Cullen vineyard is planted predominantly in gravelly, sandy, granite derived topsoils with a clay base. It is entirely dry farmed.
In 2003, after 3 years of conversion, the property was awarded ‘A’ grade organic certification by the Biological Farmers Association. It is anticipated that the vineyard will qualify for Biodynamic Certification in 2004.
“One of the pioneers of Margaret River which has always produced long-lived wines of highly individual style from the substantial and mature estate vineyards. Winemaking is now in the hands of Vanya Cullen, daughter of the founders; she is possessed of an extraordinarily good palate. The Chardonnay is superb, while the Cabernet Merlot goes from strength to strength; indeed, I would rate it Australia's best.”
-James Halliday, 2003 Australia Wine Companion View all Cullen Wines
About Other AustraliaView a map of Other Australia wineries
With a landmass the size of the US, Australia has just as many appellations. Many wines are simply labeled from their state of origin. Some of these are the most popular:
New South Wales- home to Sydney and other tourist destinations, New South Wales has a smaller focused wine growing region, but many wines are a blend of these smaller appellations and so are deemed New South Wales appellation.
Western Australia– a small corner of Australia winemaking occurs on the opposite coast of the others. The largest state, Western Australia includes the smaller appellation of Margaret River.
Southeastern Australia– This appellation encompasses the states of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Grapes are often trucked in from at least 2 of these states for crushing and bottling, giving the wine a more general appellation of origin. This is the broadest appellation in the country.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.