The competition is fierce to produce Australia’s best chardonnay. There are several names that consistently circle around the top 20, but Cullen’s Kevin John Chardonnay always ends up at the pointy end of the competition. And here’s why. Fastidious fruit selection in the vineyard is followed by fermentation with wild yeast in barriques, amphorae and ceramic egg-shaped vessels. The wine goes through natural malolactic fermentation before maturation for five months in French oak (30% new).
Clearly the team aren’t over-reaching with excessive oak - happy to find that middle ground to let the pure fruit characters shine with supportive oak for balance. And that’s one thing you’ll keep seeing - fruit purity and balance. The nose is gorgeous. Lemon tart, citrus blossom, pastry and brioche is underpinned with slatey minerality and gentle oak influence. It’s oh-so good. The palate takes it a step further with fine focus, with pure peach and lemon pith leading to broader brioche and sourdough. And at its peak, trailing minerality, spicy oak and lazer-like acidity continue the ride. The texture is rich without falling over. This is one fine package.
Part of our Women in Wine collection
This wine is part of our Women in Wine collection. We are committed to ALWAYS having wines available that are made by women. We already support so many women in the industry but we want to make this much more transparent and visible for our mofos. We want to make a real and lasting impact in an industry that is sadly still dominated by men. And this is the first step. Here’s to our Women in Wine!
Winemaker and Managing Director: Vanya Cullen
Vanya has been making wine at her family’s estate since 1983. Under her, Cullen have risen to become one of Australia’s great wineries, making incredible wines from their biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate. In 2011 she was named “Green Personality of the Year” for her commitment to sustainable practices and environmentally conscious business, all while making some of the best wine in the country.
“This has a lemon-cream edge to the nose with white peaches and a gentle edge of grilled hazelnuts, pie crust and pastry. The palate is super fresh, lithe and juicy with a tangy core of white-peach and lemon and lime-sorbet flavor that holds the finish. So elegant yet concentrated and long. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Margaret River
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
Colour: Brilliant pale gold. Bouquet: Perfumed with notes of pears, white flowers and citrus which are lifted by the barrel ageing. Palate: Very fine and already complex, combining Anjou pear, white nectarine and some almond notes. Wonderfully balanced by the natural acid structure
2017 turned out to be another great season for our vineyards and our 1976 Chardonnay vines produced some incredible fruit. Very low yields of 3.2 tonne/hectare. This is a wine defined by great purity, elegance and a fantastic acid backbone: a vintage destined for great ageing potential. The Chardonnay grapes were as usual hand harvested then whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in different vessels: barriques, amphorae and ceramic egg. It underwent natural malolactic fermentation prior to receiving 5 months of French oak maturation of which 30% was new.
Margaret River is as elusive as it is beautiful, such that you really need to visit to truly grasp its haunting beauty. Über-premium Cabernet, Chardonnay and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends grow here. 'Margies' only produces 3% of the country's grapes, but commands over 20% of its premium wine market, and hasn't had an off vintage since 2006. You start to realise how often this region is overlooked when you can list brands like Leeuwin, Cape Mentelle, Vasse Felix, and Voyager, not to mention Cullen, Pierro, Moss Wood, and Deep Woods. It's safe to say that it's time for a revisit.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Prawn, Mint & Lemon skewers
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 long fresh red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 tbs chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbs finely grated lemon rind
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 900g large green prawns, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
- Olive oil spray
- Fresh mint leaves, to serve
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- CAPSICUM MAYONNAISE
- 235g (1 cup) whole-egg mayonnaise (see note)
- 2 tbs Always Fresh Fusions Red Pepper Tapenade
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- To make the capsicum mayonnaise, process the mayonnaise, tapenade and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
- Combine the garlic, chilli, mint, lemon rind, oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add the prawns and stir to coat. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to marinate.
- Thread prawns onto skewers. season with salt and pepper. Heat a barbecue grill or chargrill on high. spray the skewers with oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden. Top with mint. Serve with the capsicum mayonnaise and lemon wedges.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...