Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet 2008

Generally, I avoid posting tasting notes where I have tasted only a smallish sample of the wine, such as what typically seems to happen at cellar doors or wine tasting events.  Conversely, I find that if I have access to the full bottle, with relatively free reign to try as much or as little as I like, then I'm usually pretty happy with the accuracy, and have fewer "what the hell was I thinking" moments when I try the wine several years later.  With that in mind, I managed to find myself at the recent Langtons Classification V tasting, with access to largely unlimited amounts of Australia's finest wines, and also managed to stay sober enough to take some notes.

The first wine tasted was Cullen's Diana Madeline 2008, a blend of 86% cabernet sauvignon and 14% merlot.  This is going to be heretical, but I shall say it.  As a drinker of a lot of Bordeaux and cabernet based wines more generally, I find Cullen good, but a bit overrated.  This wine while pleasant (an aroma of capsicum and black fruits was met with a palate with pleasant enough length), fell short of what I was hoping for given its price and reputation.  Perhaps it just needs some time.  86 points.

Abv: 12.5%
Price: $105
Margaret River
November 1, 2010


Red said…
I to found it underwhelming given its status as arguably the Margaret River's premier Cabernet. It did strike me though as a wine that will more than likely build with time. A bit similar to Mount Mary perhaps?
Thanks Red. Mount Mary is, I suspect, a very good analogy. In relation to Cullen putting on weight, unfortunately in my only example of tasting an aged Cullen (vintage circa mid 90s, pre my obsessive note taking phase), tasted blind, I was fairly sure it was a mid $20s Yarra Valley cabernet such was its herbal/dried tea character. I really couldn't believe it was the famed Cullen. But that said, I suspect the bottle may not have been stored well, so I remain open minded.
Alontin said…
I have collected some Cullen vintages over the years, going back to 95, and will do a mini vertical over Christmas, maybe shedding some more light on the comments made here.
Alontin - well, that's not a bad event to look forward to at Christmas ... I look forward to your post on this and any vintages you think stand out.


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