The maritime climate of Margaret River allows a near perfect environment in which to grow the finest quality grapes. The rocky soils produce low yielding intensely flavoured grapes and the flavour of these grapes is what creates the fabric for the wine style at Cullen.
The vines are dry farmed, helping to ensure maximum fruit quality, and all pruning and harvesting are done by hand with great care. Quality is paramount and when the hand-harvested grapes arrive at the winery from the vineyard, they are sorted again to ensure that only the best goes into the bottle.
Biodynamic practices and minimal intervention apply to both vineyard and winery with all wines being naturally fermented.
Cullen follows the maxim that states that great wines are made in the vineyard. Thus, prior to planting, extreme care is taken in choosing the best possible site. Fruit for all Cullen Wines is sourced exclusively from two vineyards, the Cullen Estate Vineyard and the Cullen Mangan Vineyard, both certified A Grade Biodynamic by the Biological Farmers Association (BFA) of Australia.
The Cullen winemaking approach is that we will do whatever it takes to make outstanding wines. Quality is paramount and every winemaking step incorporates this philosophy. The wines can only be as good as the grapes. The uniqueness of Cullen Wines comes in part from the vineyard. The role of the winemaker is to act as caretaker to the fruit - to understand and to realise the full potential of the vineyard and the fruit which comes into the winery.
VINIFICATION: The 2018 Diana Madeline was harvested over the fruit and flower days of the biodynamic calendar, including one full Moon fruit day for the Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The grapes were taken to tank, barrel and some amphorae for fermentation. Here they were fermented naturally without yeast or malolactic additions, and with no adjustment to flavor outside a small sulphur dioxide addition. The wine spent 14-27 days on skins before being gently basket pressed to barrel. The varietal blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. The wine was aged in 80% biodynamic barrels of which 50% were new. The wine will age for up to 50 years.
MATURATION: Aged for 15 months in barriques of which 50% were new.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: Cellaring up to 50 years.
APPEARANCE: Deep mulberry with purple hues showing youthful exuberance.
AROMA: Delicious aroma presentation of m ulberry, cherry, rose , violets, dark chocolate, ironstone with completely intoxicating nectar. Classic old vine Cullen Wilyabrup, Cabernet Sauvignon.
PALATE: A powerful wine with fruit spreading across the palate. An abundance of fine tannins enhances the detail of Cabernet Sauvignon Balanced with rose, violets and a compote of fruit, mulberry, plum, and cassis deliciously dense with fruit. Smooth long flavour. Quintessential Diana Madeline in a great year.
WINEMAKER'S COMMENTS: These old vine Cabernet Sauvignon Houghton clones (8 different clones) were planted in 1971 on their own roots and are destined for the flagship wine Diana Madeline. 2018 produced small yields, being 5.88 tonnes per hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon from certified biodynamic, carbon negative fruit. This has created a natural wine with elegance, balance and power.