Cullen Diana Madeline 2005 Front Label
Cullen Diana Madeline 2005 Front Label

Cullen Diana Madeline 2005

  • WE93
  • WS92
  • W&S91
750ML / 14% ABV
Other Vintages
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE91
  • WE90
  • WE92
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is a great wine and one of the very finest Bordeaux blends ever produced at Cullens. It was made using all of the five red grape varieties of Bordeaux, with Cabernet Sauvignon comprising three quarters of the blend. Merlot was the next most important contributor with 16%, followed by Malbec (5%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (1%). The wine has benefited from having been matured for 19 months in French barriques, of which 70% were new.

The 2005 Diana Madeline is a magnificent inky red color with a dense purple meniscus. The nose combines youthful dark berry fruits with intense potpourri notes for a powerful yet elegant example of Margaret River Cabernet. Dense black cherry and cassis fruits combine with lifted floral notes and fine, dusty tannins, while the exceptionally long finish reflects the quality of both producer and vintage.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
With only 50 cases imported, this review will be of only academic interest to most consumers, but for those lucky enough to latch onto a bottle or two, try to hold off opening one until 2015 or so. Right now, it's oh so promising, but also very tight. Scents of toasted almonds, vanilla and cassis only stubbornly emerge, and the wine is clearly packed with potential but also showing a lot of tannin on the finish.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This has elegance and presence, striking a lovely balance between firm texture and fresh fruit flavors, with tannins. The flavors persist winningly. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2009 through 2015. 50 cases imported.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
The Cullens grow this cabernet blend under biodynamic principles, working with 30-year-old vines. The fine scent of oak and the amplitude that aging in barrel can provide is the most immediate impression. Later, once the wine develops with air, fragrant cherry and blueberry scents come forward, along with firm, gentle tannins. The wine doesn't feel pushed at all, its natural balance certain to sustain it for years in the cellar.
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Cullen, Australia
Cullen Cullen Vineyard Winery Image

A founding winery of Margaret River, Cullen was established in 1971 by pioneering winemakers Kevin and Diana Cullen. In redefining the style of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the 1970s, the fledgling estate caught the attention of the nation. Since then, an unrelenting commitment to quality, integrity and sustainability has positioned Cullen as one of Australia's greatest estates - and Margaret River as one of the nation's premier wine-producing regions. The mature, biodynamically farmed vineyard produces elegant, age-worthy wines that draw world-wide critical acclaim, including what is regarded by many as the country's definitive Bordeaux blend.

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Margaret River Wine

Western Australia

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Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. Complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are another regional specialty. Also common here are refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, as well as earthy, aromatic Bordeaux Red Blends.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

OBCC05DM_2005 Item# 101666

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