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2016 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.

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.


Tasting Notes
COLOUR Ruby with a purple hue. NOSE A deep perfume of wild berries reveals distinctive savoury characters, woodsy Margaret River Forest and briny ocean breeze. Intense and powerful with dried rose petal and violet paired with earthy aromas of mushrooms, the spice of fresh cedar, and linseed oil. Hints of peppermint tree leaves are complemented by enticing notes of a canelé pastry and dark chocolate. PALATE Incredibly luscious, rich fruit builds into a long, fine, powdery tannin structure. Refreshing floral notes are expressed throughout the palate with lingering blackcurrant and blackberry. Medium bodied, the complexity of ocean and nori influence pairs beautifully with notes of chocolate, polished leather and exotic spices. An elegant, palpable and clean dry finish with earthy power and wild berry custard tart rounding out this complex palate.
Winemaker Notes
WINEMAKERS NOTES All blocks destemmed only without crushing and then allowed to ferment naturally. The Cabernet Sauvignon (making up 78%) was static fermented, gently pumped over through a splash tub and then left on skins for up to 30 days. This was a particularly brilliant year for tannin ripeness and the time on the skins allowed for the wine to become structurally sound and stabilised. The Malbec and Petit Verdot (making up 22%) were open fermented, hand plunged and pressed dry. The small sections were basket pressed to fine French oak and matured for 19 months. The strength of the fruit in this vintage resulted in a greater contribution from new oak compared to previous vintages.
Production Notes
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot
Alcohol %
Cellaring Potential:
Now until 2038
Harvest Date
March-April 2016
French Oak Barrique, 80% new, 20% 1-4 year old, 19 months
Residual Sugar:
Residual Sugar
Bottling Date
December 2017
2016 Tom Cullity
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