2013 Tom Cullity
Available May 2017
Vasse Felix, Margaret River's founding wine estate, was established by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity in 1967. Among his first plantings were Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec vines, from which he produced the estate’s first red wine. The Tom Cullity descends from these original vines and represents the pinnacle of Vasse Felix. The inaugural release will be in May 2017, coinciding with Vasse Felix's 50th Anniversary.
Dr Tom Cullity
Dr Tom Cullity was a respected Cardiologist from Western Australia. He discovered the great table wines of Europe in the 1950s while in Britain working at the National Heart Hospital. Upon returning home, Tom set himself a mission to make fine wines in WA. He searched extensively for the perfect plot of land, taking guidance from the research of Professor Harold Olmo (1955) and Dr John Gladstones (1965) before establishing an 8 acre vineyard in Cowaramup called Vasse Felix.
His exhaustive work and persistence led to the successful creation of Margaret River’s first commercial wines. He is remembered for his pioneering role in establishing Margaret River.
ColourDeep maroon with a brick and purple tint.
NoseRather savoury to start with meaty mushroom, nori, salty sea breeze, graphite and spicey cedar notes. Opens beautifully with cherry pip, cassis, Christmas cake, orange rind, pot pourri and hints of Australian forest floor.
PalateA remarkable, refined, soft, elegant and almost creamy Cabernet style with sublime tannin and mouthfeel. The flavour is full, yet elevated and carries cherry, cassis, hints of cinotto, cedar and chocolate. It finishes juicy, while fine and dry.
Winemaker's notesAll fruit was grown in Vasse Felix's Home Vineyard. Fruit parcels were picked in small blocks and fermented with 100% wild yeasts. 52% was static fermented and macerated on skins for more than 20 days. 48% was open fermented and macerated for 10-15 days on skins. The wine was fined with egg whites and racked before minimal filtration to bottle.
Varietals 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit VerdotAlcohol 14.5%Cellaring potential Medium to long termHarvestedMid March - early April 2013Oak100% French oak, 19 months (61% New, 39% 1-4 year old).TA6.9g/LPH3.45Residual Sugar0.55g/LBottledFebruary 2015
Vintage DescriptionModerate spring temperatures accompanied by low solar radiation and cool soil conditions contributed to slower vine growth and increased disease pressure. Thankfully, a consistently warm and dry summer ensured clean canopies and another early start to the white harvest. Rapidly cooling weather in March allowed extended ripening time for the reds and more traditional harvest timing through late March into April.
98 pointsThe Weekend Australian - James HallidayWild fermented, 28-35 days on skins; matured in French oak (61% new) for 18 months. Slightly light colour; gloriously fragrant bouquet; intense cassis accented palate. 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% malbec, 4% petit verdot; exceptional texture, length and aftertaste. 14.5% alc, screwcap 98 points, drink to 2033.November 2016
Nick Stock (AU Critic)via InstagramA new chapter in Vasse Felix history and also that of Margaret River and Australian Cabernet at large, the Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec will be released May 1st, 2017. It is superb, props to proprietor Paul Holmes à Court and winemaker Virginia Willcock.
Philip Rich (AU Critic)via Instagram...next year, to coincide with VF's 50th anniversary, the winery is releasing their first single vineyard Cabernet Malbec to replace the Heytesbury. Named after Vasse Felix's founder, who planted the region's first commercial vineyard in 1967, the Tom Cullity Cabernet Malbec 2013 is destined to join the ranks of Australia's greatest wines.
99 pointsJamesSuckling.comThat 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+.11 January 2017
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