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1997 Cullen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
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- Cellar 15 - 20 years (2014-2019)
- ABV 14%
- Closure: Cork
An exceptional wine of International standing. The 1997 vintage has a higher than normal Cabernet Sauvignon component due to the exceptional quality of those grapes, and as a consequence has given the wine a much firmer backbone, and yet a surprisingly soft tannin structure. The vines are now fully mature having been planted in the late 1960's, and are non irrigated and low yielding, less than 2 tonnes per acre.Made from a blend of 82% Cabernet, 12% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc, the wine was matured for 18 months in new and old French oak. For the statistically minded 32% new oak, 48% one year old and 20% two year old. The oak ratio's are interesting in that it indicates the desire for a very careful balance of oak flavour compounds being introduced as opposed to the complexity of barrel aging. Opaque crimson colour. The nose is a little restrained at first, however, let the wine warm up and it yields superbly sophisticated aromas of violets, blackcurrants and spice with a hint of truffle. The quality of what is to follow is clearly assured. The palate is intense, concentrated and seamless. The component parts are recognisable but only as part of a totality of flavour. The transition of one flavour compound into another slips across the palate with a rare degree of harmony. Perfect tannins, super fine and in part due to the fact that a portion of the wine was left to macerate on skins for 6 weeks prior to pressing. The wine is very much in the infancy of its development and a 15-20 year bottle life would be easily achieved. Exceptional aftertaste of blackcurrant and cedar. A Must!