Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Australia
This wine is very reminiscent of the Cabernet Merlot made in 1982, a year that was likewise very cool and resulted in harvesting occurring appreciably later than usual. Some idea of the potential of the 2006 Diana Madeline can be gauged by the fact that the 1982 Cabernet Merlot is still drinking very well and showing no signs of being on its last legs.
The 2006 Diana Madeline was made from a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. The wine was matured for 15 months in French barriques, of which 40% were new.
A deep ruby garnet-red with a crimson meniscus. The bouquet is a combination of fresh and complex chocolate and blackberries. The palate is elegant, rich and flavorsome. Classic fresh, "crunchy" blackberry Cabernet fruit is backed by firm but unobtrusive tannins. Great length that leaves lovely lingering flavors. Delicious! Can cellar at least 20 years.
Australian Wine Companion - "Bright hue, although not particularly deep; lighter fruit style than usual, albeit with normal tannin structure; needs three years before entering its plateau. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red. An expansive, compelling bouquet offers red- and blackcurrant, spicy cherry, rose and licorice scents. Juicy red and dark berry flavors display liqueur-like depth and are propped up by fine-grained tannins. Sappy, mineral-accented cherry and blackcurrant flavors linger on the finish, which is crisp and precise. Not a heavyweight, and I suspect that those who see all Australian red wines through a Barossa shiraz lens will find this wanting-maybe even a European wannabe. "
Wine Enthusiast - "Cullen's Diana Madeline is amazingly consistent from year to year, and the 2006 continues that tradition. It’s maybe a touch fuller-bodied and rounder than some years, but maintains a sense of restraint and a timeless blend of tobacco, cedar and cassis, finishing with a flourish of mint. "
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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 Margaret RiverView a map of Margaret River wineries Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot. Other varieties that have found results are Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay & Riesling.
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.