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.
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.
Another text-book vintage in Margaret River with consistent, almost rhythmic temperature patterns throughout the ripening season, resulting in excellent balance and physiological ripeness of fruit. Reasonable yields were obtained despite a handful of blocks being exposed to heavy storms in spring reducing their cropping potential, but overall quality is excellent.
This is a single-vineyard wine at the pinnacle of the endeavors of Vasse Felix. Opens with red fruits in the redcurrant and red-cherry zone, showcasing fresh red and purple flowers and some deeper blue-fruit notes. The palate's the thing though: The way in which the malbec entwines itself around cabernet's linear tannins and enriches the wine without fundamentally changing its shape is genius. Supple, fresh and commanding Margaret River red. A very insightful blend of predominantly cabernet sauvignon with 16% malbec and 4% petit verdot. Best from 2022. Screw cap.
Huon Hooke Medium to deep red/purple colour, not that dark. The bouquet is beautifully complex and detailed, with tobacco, leafy, blueberry, violets and dusty foresty overtones. The fruit flavours are bright and intense, poised and very elegant. Blueberry and violets in abundance. Fine-grained tannins, fine structure. A lovely wine. (16% malbec, 4% petit verdot) 2019-2042
I couldn't see the fuss at first - and then it hit me. It's a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. It sees 62% new French oak and while there's oak to be tasted here, the fruit has largely soaked it all up. It's a cracking wine. It seems light at first, both in colour and flavour, but as it breathes it blossoms and once you've spent time with it then it really begins to boom. The power is all under the bonnet; there's nothing particularly flashy about it. It tastes of camphor and blackcurrant, mint, anise, black olive, bay leaves and smoky oak. Tannin is a kind of crescendo of its own, though it's not an island: there's fruit here, gloriously ripened, picked just before it went too far. Length here is quite outstanding.
"..will age exquisitely well."
This blend of Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot, to be released in May, is quite different in style from the Cape Mentelle: more perfumed (succulent herbs, hedgerow blackberries), more elegant, more savoury, but it will also age exquisitely well.