Dry warm spring conditions at the end of 2015 helped establish a healthy fruit set and better yields than the previous two seasons. January temperatures were warm, interrupted by one rainfall event late in the month, great viticulture management, clean, well-trimmed canopies and subsequent warm weather prevented disease risk. White varieties were harvested throughout February with elegant flavours and bright natural acidity. January rain gave red varieties a timely drink and moderate long, dry conditions finished them with bright fruit and ripe tannins.
Vasse Felix 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.
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot
French Oak Barrique, 80% new, 20% 1-4 year old, 19 months
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.
Ruby with a purple hue.
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.
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.