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Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot 2000

Bordeaux Red Blends from Australia
  • JH96
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Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

JH 96
Australian Wine Companion

96

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Cullen

Cullen

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Cullen, , Australia
Cullen
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

Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines, the Mosel is a region of Germany formerly known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer—named thusly for the three rivers that flow through its dramatic valleys. Geology, climate and topography are paramount here, and the wines produced communicate a distinct sense of place. In addition to being prized for their heat-retaining properties, slate-based soils lend a stony minerality to the wines, contributing to some of the most recognizable terroir in the world. Cool temperatures necessitate the use of the region’s rivers to reflect heat onto the vineyards, and the best wines are made from sites with south or southwest facing slopes to receive sufficient direct sunlight for ripening. The breathtakingly steep slopes that straddle the river banks cannot be worked by machine, contributing to a high cost of labor (and treacherous working conditions).

Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically the sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type, and altitude. These wines, dry or sweet, are distinguished by marked acidity, low alcohol, and intense flavors of wet stone, citrus, and stone fruit. With age, a pleasing aroma of petroleum often develops. The lesser plots are mainly planted with lower-maintenance but relatively neutral varieties like [Müller-Thurgau] and other German crosses, but Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can perform quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

LSB60596_2000 Item# 60596

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