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Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Australia
  • JS99
  • JH98
  • D97
  • RP95
  • W&S90
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep maroon in color, with a brick and purple tint, the 2013 Tom Cullity offers rather savory aromas to start -- with meaty mushroom, nori, salty sea breeze, graphite and spicy cedar notes. The nose then opens beautifully, showing notes of cherry pip, cassis, Christmas cake, orange rind, pot pourri and hints of Australian forest floor. On the palate, this wine is remarkable, refined, soft, elegant and almost creamy, with sublime tannin and mouthfeel. The flavor is full, yet elevated, and carries cherry, cassis, hints of cinotto, cedar and chocolate. It finishes juicy, while fine and dry.

Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 99
James Suckling
That this is an elegant wine is the first thing to note here. The nose has hints of gravel and leafy nuances — a textbook regional expression. It's really seductive, and there's a fusion of bright and vibrant redcurrants, boysenberries and red cherries together with cassis and blue plums as well as mulberries. Some fresh, violet-like florals and freshly cut herbs also come into play along with pomegranate and deliciously fresh and cedary oak that's well played in behind vineyard-focused characters. The richer malbec fruits are clear here, and at 20% of the blend, it has a role to play, both in terms of the upfront plushness and back palate depth. The old vines are also working some magic within the layers of structure and length here. The palate's immaculate and supple, the tannins are fluid, long and polished, and there's detail here as well as depth, before things culminate in an incredibly fresh finish. Tannins are superbly elegant and truly refined. This is a wine of finesse and fine detail. Beautifully grown, perfectly captured and astutely crafted. This is everything a great wine should be and a new step for Vasse Felix, Margaret River and for Australian cabernet. Drink 2020-2030+.
JH 98
Australian Wine Companion
Wild-fermented with 28-35 days on skins, matured in French oak (61% new) for 18 months. Don't pay any attention to the slightly light colour, but certainly dwell on the gloriously fragrant bouquet and the intensity of the cassis-accented palate. This is a truly sophisticated blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% malbec and 4% petit verdot, with exceptional texture, length and aftertaste.
D 97
Decanter
A new flagship wine celebrating the founder of Vasse Felix, the region's first winery. It is complex, multi-layered and seamless, with gentle blackcurrant aromas and a hint of pepper, followed by a medium-bodied, velvety palate of surprising softness. Ripe, ultra-fine tannins. Drinking Window 2023 - 2042
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The exciting debut of a new Vasse Felix flagship, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Tom Cullity is named for the winery's founder. Unlike the supplanted Heytesbury red, it's made entirely from estate fruit, primarily from the winery's oldest vines. It's a rich, expansive wine yet retains a firm, structured core that should allow it to age gracefully. Mint and bay leaf notes add complexity to the cassis fruit, while flourishes of French oak add vanilla and cedar.
Rating: 95+
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Virginia Willcock makes this wine from the Vasse Felix Home Vineyard, which Tom Cullity first planted in 1967. This vintage, from a warm summer and a long, cool harvest season, layers gentle, savory tannins and honeyed blue fruit. Focused on cabernet sauvignon (76 percent), with malbec (20 percent) and petit verdot, it’s a young, minty red that needs bottle age to develop, or short ribs to show itself more fully.
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Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix

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Vasse Felix, Margaret River, Australia
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Wine Enthisiast Magazine 2017 Wine Star Award Winner for New World Winery of the Year.

Planted in 1967, Vasse Felix was the first vineyard to be established in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia.

Family owned and operated by the Holmes a Court family, Vasse Felix is internationally recognized as a leading Margaret River winery, restaurant and cellar door and is found in the heart of Margaret River's famous sub-region, Willyabrup.

Long growing seasons, ancient soils and cooling sea breezes from the Southern and Indian Oceans provide the Vasse Felix vineyards with ideal viticultural conditions to craft consistent, elegant and complex wines with pronounced varietal character and aroma.

Margaret River

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Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-living 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.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

STC340709_2013 Item# 364411