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2013 Tom Cullity

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 was in May 2017, coinciding with Vasse Felix's 50th Anniversary.

Dr Tom Cullity

Dr Tom Cullity
1925-2008

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.

  • Colour

    Deep maroon with a brick and purple tint.

    Nose

    Rather 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.

    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's notes

    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.
  • Varietals 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
    Alcohol 14.5%
    Cellaring potential Medium to long term
    HarvestedMid March - early April 2013
    Oak100% French oak, 19 months (61% New, 39% 1-4 year old).
    TA6.9g/L
    PH3.45
    Residual Sugar0.55g/L
    BottledFebruary 2015
  • 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.
2013 Tom Cullity
Single Bottle $160.00
Save 10% in a case - $144.00
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  • 2013 Tom Cullity - Reviews

    Reviews

  • 99 points - Top 100 AU Wine 2016
    JamesSuckling.com
    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+.
    11 January 2017
  • "destined to join the ranks of Australia's greatest wines"
    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.
  • "A new chapter in Vasse Felix history"
    via Instagram
    A 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.
    October 2016
  • 98 Points
    Halliday Wine Companion
    Don't pay any attention to the slightly light colour, but certainly dwell on the gloriously fragrant boquet and the intensity of the cassis-accented palate. This is a truly sophisticated blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% malbec, 4% petit verdot, with exceptional texture, length and aftertaste. Screwcap. 14.5% alc. Rating 98. Drink to 2033.
    August 2017
  • "Long, layered, restrained, yet highly involving."
    The Wine Detective - Sara Ahmed
    Moderate spring temperatures were 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. Tom Cullity 2013 is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot. It was aged for 18 months in French oak (61% new, 39% 1-4 year old). The nose is deep with contrasting but delicate peppermint and savoury nuances which follow through on the palate. Like the 2012, this wine is unhurried compared to the earlier vintages from Willcock. It almost starts taking off on the mid-palate through to back palate, making for a concurve shape, which builds slowly but confidently in the mouth, one senses from a stong base. Like the earlier vintages, it has lovely freshness, juiciness and persistence, with savoury sage, anise and dark chocolate nuances. There is a leesy lithe texture to the finish, yet it remains juicy, nimble even, with that levity and plushness which is striking in the 2012 and 2013 wild fermented vintages. Going back, I find balsamic, cedar and blueberry notes; the tannins very textural still. The minerality - an ironstone tang - has become more pronounced. Long, layered, restrained, yet highly involving. Excellent and, as Willcock points out, a wine so relaxed that you can drink it now, but doubtless it will age very well too, even if not as highly strung as say the 2008. RRP - £95.00 TA: 6.9 g/L, pH: 3.45 Residual Sugar: 0.55 g/L, Alc: 14.5%
    September 2017
  • 98 Points
    The West Australian - Ray Jordan
    The debut release for this definitive statement of cabernet from Vasse Felix and Margaret River. Sourced from vines linked to those first Cullity plantings, it was all wild yeast fermented in static and closed fermenters, with skin maceration of 20 days. It's 76 per cent cabernet, 20 per cent malbec and 4 per cent petit verdot. It' all French Bordeaux oak for 18 months, with almost 70 per cent new. This is classic cabernet with a distinctive leafy grahite character on the nose and subtle savouriness. Has opened in the past few months to start revealing deep, rich cabernet flavours of cedar and dark chocolate worked with a lush blackcurrant and fine black-olive nuance.
    May 2017
  • "Classic, elegant Margaret River red"
    Australian Financial Review - Max Allen
    Very much in the classic, elegant Margaret River red mould, this blend of predominantly cabernet sauvignon with malbec and petit verdot is entrancing to smell - all dusty bush track and squashed blackcurrants - and wonderfully fine, savoury and persistent on the tongue. It'll age brilliantly, too, for a good couple of decades at least.
    April 2017
  • A journey that will last at least 10 more years
    Gourmet Traveller Wine
    It's 50 years since pioneering Dr Tom Cullity planted the first vines at Vasse Felix and unleashed the potential of the Margaret River wine region. The wine replaces the Heytesbury with malbec now an important component of the blend. The colour is surprisingly light, the bouquet highly perfumed and the palate subtle yet clearly defined, concentrated and super, super long. Decant to enjoy now or wait five years to see it in full flight - a journey that will last at least 10 more years.
  • Fitting Tribute
    Gourmet Traveller
    Top Drops of the Month - When Dr Thomas Cullity planted the first commercial vineyard in Margaret River in 1967 he helped kick-start one of Australia's great wine regions. Fifty years later, this beautiful, elegant, age-worthy new cabernet blend is named in his honour.
    June 2017
  • Irresistible
    Money Magazine
    It's a complex wine of great finesse, impressively aromatic, multi-layered with blackberry, bramble and mulberry flavours and a hint of pepper. Will age but irresistible now.
    June 2017
  • 19++
    Matthew Jukes
    It is blindingly obvious why Virginia picked this vintage to launch TOM CULLITY. The oak is now dwelling in the core of the wine and the fruit forms a cloak around the outside. The texture of the fruit is continuing the red theme and continuing the subltey/power ratio. It is amazing how this wine is less showy and intense but so much classier and more regal. Less is truly more.
    October 2017

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