Cullen Diana Madeline 2010

In the past, I’ve not been entirely convinced that the Cullen “Diana Madeline” is a comfortable member of the highest echelons of Australian wine.  But credit where it is due, and it is due here, the 2010 vintage of the Diana Madeline is a very good wine.   The seed of interest, so often the start of a long term fascination with a wine, finds fertile ground before it.  The 2010 is a blend of 77% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 6% petit verdot, 4% merlot and 3% cabernet franc.  Just in case you wanted to know down to the last grape.  Stylistically, the 2010 vintage sees only 51% new French oak, which is probably a departure from some “benchmark” style wines, but quite consistent with the style of Cullen, which is also a biodynamic producer.

The wine itself has muted aromatics of blackcurrant, cedar and mulberry.  The palate is elegant, balanced and has complex nuances of blackcurrant, cedar, vanilla, light reminders of boot polish and capsicum and a medium to long length finish.  I agree with the judicious use of oak in this wine, as I suspect more would have clobbered it.  Overall, a balanced and elegant cabernet sauvignon blend that can be drunk now, or should improve over 5-8 years.

Rating: Very Good, Abv: 13%, Price: $90s, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: http://www.cullenwines.com.au, Tasted: 2014

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