95 Points James Halliday
Excellent hue and depth; a complex, medium to full-bodied web of texture and flavour; perfectly balanced oak and tannins supporting blackcurrant fruit; long finish. Drink to 2019.
Source: James Halliday. February, 2006
Perhaps Cullen's best-known wine, this blend was recently included in the prestigious Langton Classification of Australian Wines. The vines planted in 1971 are 30 years old.
Even at this young stage in its development, we are confident that the quality of the 2004 Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot ranks with the 1995, 1999 and 2001 vintages, which were the previous outstanding vintages of the last fifteen years. The quality of the 2004 vintage for red wines reflects the perfect conditions the existed throughout the whole of the period leading up to harvest. The good rainfall in the months up to November 2003 produced perfect conditions for the vines in the early part of the growing season. The main growing season was cool and dry, which was ideal as the vines did not even become mildly stressed. This was followed by warm but not extreme temperatures, which led to the production of red grapes that attained perfect physiological ripeness.
The 2004 Diana Madeline was produced using biodynamic techniques, which Cullens believe is crucial for optimising the quality of the fruit flavours and for investing the wine with a velvety structure and very high quality tannins. It was made from a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. The fruit was picked at Baumés ranging from 12.1-13.7, producing an average value of 13.5º. The wine was matured in French oak for 18 months. The result is a deeply coloured wine with great depth of flavour, fine grain tannins and outstanding cellaring potential.
Source: Cullen Wines