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2018 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 purest expression of our history, place and vintage; the pinnacle of Vasse Felix. 

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.

Tom’s tenacious and enduring persistence led to the successful creation of Margaret River’s first commercial wines. He is remembered for his pioneering role in establishing the Margaret River Wine Region. The TOM CULLITY is a fitting tribute to this extraordinary legacy.

DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTES

A selection of magnums and six bottle cellaring cases are also available, click the links below for more.

2018 Tom Cullity Magnum 

Tasting Notes
APPEARANCE A very bright garnet with a purple/black tint. NOSE Such an amazing energy with transparency of vineyard environment emanating via savoury hints of native forest, red gravel and ocean spray, leaning to nori and a touch of mushroom. The fruit is vibrant, outstanding even; reminiscent of fresh boysenberries. Turkish Delight and potpourri bring fragrant beauty, while more excitement lies in spice notes of red peppercorn, Bay tree seeds and very subtle liquorice. PALATE So elegant and succulent, yet with powerful structure and length. The immense, levitating body feels rich, but light - it’s miraculous. The tannins are fine, present, peripheral and incredibly long, with perfume so deep it lingers on and on. Our dream Cabernet Sauvignon vintage for weight, flavour preservation and balance.
Winemaker Notes
WINEMAKERS NOTES What a stunning vintage. The vines loved what the season delivered, and our role was help translate their experience to the bottle, via 18 months in our best vessels, with much devotion and care. The small sections of Tom’s old blocks were hand-harvested and destemmed only, without crushing, and then fermented with their natural yeast. The Cabernet parcels were static fermented, gently pumped over through a splash tub, and then left on skins for up to 33 days to stabilise and make structurally sound in an exceptional ripening year with quality tannins. The Petit Verdot, Malbec and some Cabernet Sauvignon were open fermented, hand-plunged and pressed dry. All basket pressed only to fine French oak and matured for 18 months.
Varietals:
Production Notes
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.5% Malbec, 4.5% Petit Verdot
Alcohol:
Alcohol %
14.5
Cellaring Potential:
Aging
Approachable on release at four years of age. 20+ years for elegant and savoury aged Cabernet Sauvignon.
Harvested:
Harvest Date
23 March - 10 April 2018
Oak:
Fermentation
French Oak Barrique 59% new, 41% 2-4 year old 18 months
TA:
Acid
6.1g/L
pH:
pH
3.57
Residual Sugar:
Residual Sugar
0.69g/L
Bottled:
Bottling Date
6 February 2020
Vintage Notes
2018

Heavy winter rainfalls recharged soil moisture levels, ideal for our dry grown vines. A modest spring enabled moderate crop levels, and while the growing season felt cool, it was in fact warmer across daytime average temperatures in the lead up to harvest. There was a “mega blossom” of the Marri trees - the most blossom in living memory – keeping bird pressure to almost zero. Vintage timing was on average, with minor rainfall freshening red vines for the finish. A long, dry, warm Indian summer followed, with no heat spike events. One of, if not the best, Cabernet Sauvignon vintages of the decade, with ultra-fine, perfectly ripe tannins, moderate sugars and good natural acidity. Vibrant colours. Complex and lifted aromas.

2018 Tom Cullity
Add To Cart
$190.00
/ Bottle
SKU: 18TCS7AU06
Add To Cart
$1,140.00
/ Case of 6
 
Reviews
  • 99 Points

    Halliday Wine Companion - Erin Larkin

    This wine is the benchmark of the latent power, grace and inherent balance of the 2018 vintage in Margaret River. Texturally similar to the classically sophisticated 2014 vintage, but with far greater density and weight. Here, the savoury tannins are countersunk into the fruit already: shapely, firm, chewy, malleable – everywhere and nowhere at once. Waves of blood plum, cassis, blackberry, pomegranate, juniper, raspberries, saltbush, bay leaf and salted red licorice crash against the rocks, as kelp, nori, iodine, red gravel and brine ride the smaller sets out the back. Sensational. Astounding. A wine for the ages.

  • 99 Points

    The West Australian - Ray Jordan

    Highly perfumed aromas strike immediately. There is that combination of fruit sweetness and fine chalky minerally tannins. Loads of blackcurrant and juicy plum with a dollop of chocolate and mocha cut with floral and dried herb notes. Bright and energetic at every turn with subtlety and elegance. Delivers with a degree of understatement and restraint yet gathers pace and momentum as it drives through to the finish. The tannins are more in the powdery space with that slightly aspirin-like oak influence bringing it all together seamlessly and harmoniously. This is classic cabernet in its varietal makeup with a firm spine and length. The malbec has brought a vibrant red fruit juiciness into the equation. The finest wine yet from Vasse Felix. It’s 2016 without the tannin and 2014 without the opulence.

  • 98 Points

    The Vintage Journal - Andrew Caillard

    Medium deep crimson. Fragrant cassis, dark plum, chinotto aromas with herb garden, aniseed notes. Voluminous blackcurrant, dark plum, blackberry fruits, lovely persistent fine chocolaty textures, superb mid-palate density, fresh juicy acidity and plentiful mocha, espresso oak notes. Finishes chocolaty with plentiful sweet dark fruits and attractive mineral length. Lovely concentration, definition and torque. Should last some distance and keep for a while to let the elements further integrate. An impressive landmark vintage. 78% cabernet sauvignon 17.5% malbec 4.5% petit verdot. Matured in new (59%) and seasoned French oak for 18 months.

  • 97 Points

    The Real Review - Gabrielle Poy

    Not a powerhouse on the nose, but rather an intriguing mix of beautifully curated black and red berries, florals and meats with an earthy element of graphite. It smells harmonious yet complex. The palate is luxuriously rich and svelte, once again a myriad of complexing flavours combine and are carried along with fine rolling tannins. It's incredibly well balanced and there's a purity to the fruit that is captivating. But perhaps best of all, there has been restraint in the winemaker's work letting the fruit take centre stage. This is a mind-blowing cabernet that captures the elegance and complexity this grape can produce at its greatest height.

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