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2013 Vasse Felix Margaret River Tom Cullity

Cracka Value Rating
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Cracka Review

Trying the 2013 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity, you are enveloped by a warm sense of the old school. The way great wine used to taste, before the omnipresence of double oaking and burdensome ripe fruit took hold. While Cabernet is king, the plushness of 20% Malbec in the mix gives the wine a liveliness, and that hint of charred spice and roses. The velvety flow of currants, pomegranates and rhubarb interplay with the traditional black fruits, bay leaf and tobacco. While floral now, the wine settles down in to a heady mix of cleansing, crunchy acidity and fine-grained tannins. It is a wine of structure, perfume and decadence, and has that fluid like balance the best wines can offer. I have the feeling the Tom Cullity may just live for a very long time, and would expect its best drinking to be had in 10-15 years time.

Winemaker's Notes

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.

Appearance: Deep maroon with a brick and purple tint.

Nose: Rather savoury to start with meaty mushroom, nori, salty sea breeze, graphite and spicy cedar notes. Opens beautifully with cherry pip, cassis, Christmas cake, orange rind, pot pourri and hints of Australian forest floor.

Palate: A 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 Comments: All 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.

Vintage Description: Moderate 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.

Varieties: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot.

Cellaring: Medium to long term.

Alc/vol: 14.5%

expert reviews about

2013 Vasse Felix Margaret River Tom Cullity

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2013 Vintage) says
Wild 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.
Drink by 2033
Huon Hooke (2013 Vintage) says
Deep purple-red colour; a great range of perfumes contribute to an exquisite bouquet. Violets, blue and red fruits; very floral. The palate is extremely elegant, refined and lively, with power and concentration. It's very long and the palate is tight and fluent, with masses of fine-grained tannins. Fresh acidity cleanses the finish. A graceful wine, with great lightness of being. Caressing tannins and perfect harmony.
2017 - 2038
James Suckling (2013 Vintage) says
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.
2020 - 2030+

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