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James Halliday Australian Wine Companion


  • By Jeremy Oliver
    July/August 2003, IWC Issue #109, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Cullen Wines Cabernet Merlot Margaret River) Subscribe to see review text.


  • By Jon Rimmerman
    10/12/2007, (See more on Garagiste...)

    (Cullen Cabernet/Merlot (Diana Madeline)) Cullen Library Release

    "... one of the best wines ever produced in Australia. Rating? Who needs one with a wine like this!" - Torbwine on the 2001 Cullen.

    Dear Friends,

    This is a winery I believe in wholeheartedly, not just as women pioneers in a severely male dominated industry but as an entity that is producing some of the more costly and labor intensive wines in Australia and doing so with the passion that I strive to find in every pocket of the world’s most remote wine regions.

    What if Harlan or Araujo were completely ignored in France and you tried in vain to convince people that the wines were actually worthy of more than the discount bin? This has been the uphill battle for some of the very best wines produced in Australia and for one reason or another the US populous just doesn’t understand where the blueberry syrup has gone. Blame it on over-marketing by the Barossa Valley but most Australian collectors, when pressed, would name the very best wines produced in the country as Grange, Mount Mary Quintet, Yarra Yering Dry Red #1 and this wine, the Cullen Cabernet/Merlot - a wine that just cannot gain any respect in this country. Horded, collected with pride and sold out on the mailing list every vintage before it even goes on sale, Diana Cullen’s original Margaret River classic needs some respect in the US and I hope our customer base will give it to her. It is time for us to pay attention to a Bordeaux-style wine that is one of Australia’s proudest achievements (and one of only a few rated “Exceptional” by Langton’s).

    Produced by the mother/daughter team of Diana and Vanya Cullen from one of Margaret River’s oldest vineyards planted in the mid 1960s (and the first to plant Merlot in Margaret River), their goal is simple - let the land speak for itself without manipulation: “The vineyard site at Cullens was carefully chosen for its potential to produce great wine, and in particular red wine. The philosophy of Cullen Wines is to search for the best quality expression of the vineyard in the wine. The maritime climate, rocky soils, dry farming, and biodynamic practices all help to create individual and diverse wine styles which are unique to Cullen.”

    We thought it would be interesting for you to see if these are worth the accolades with age (they are renown for long-term aging and show their best after 10 or more years in the cellar). For exploration’s sake, we have a 2-bottle pack that is coming straight from the library that has been perfectly stored since release. The feeling is that maybe this will stimulate the standing of the winery in the US market as we have been pioneers of so many wines from Down Under that have gone on to acclaim (retailers in Oz would be lining up to get these as they appreciate in value substantially in Australia). The only way I was able to get this pricing was to offer both wines (so, like the Barroche from last week) I’m passing it on in the same form. Before you go running to check pricing databases, please keep in mind that these are in ORIGINAL condition and have not sat on a store shelf for five years since release. I’m sure you can find them cheaper in the US somewhere, but compare apples to apples - which is not possible as this is the only lot like this of its kind that has never moved since release and has been stored under perfect conditions.

    Keep in mind, these are some of the highest scoring wines in the history of Australia (reviews from Tanzer like this are rare indeed).

    You get one bottle each of the following with perfect provenance:

    2001 Cullen Cabernet/Merlot (Diana Madeline)

    2002 Cullen Cabernet/Merlot (Diana Madeline)

    Cullen Cabernet/Merlot (Diana Madeline) 2-pack

    Please limit requests to 3 x 2-packs - please be patient with final allocations

    Thank you,

    Jon Rimmerman
    Seattle, WA


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