2018 Vasse Felix Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec
Named in honour of Vasse Felix’s founder Thomas Brendan Cullity who planted the first vines in 1967, this wine is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17.5% Malbec and 4.5% Petit Verdot sourced from the original plantings. Maturation took place in French oak barriques (59% new and 41% 2-4 year old) for a period of 18 months.
Midnight black in colour with a deep dark red black tinged hue. Bounding out of the glass is a complex array of spiced red to black currant, red liquorice, mulberry, cigar box, earth, black olive and bay leaf aromas. Rich and exceptionally concentrated yet beautifully finessed the palate is layered with a deep well of red to black currant and mulberry fruits. Lying underneath is an intriguing back drop of spicy vanillin cedar, tobacco, earthy black olive characters, dried herbs and bay leaf. Magnificent power with a very structured and precise framework of tannin and acidity that are perfectly integrated with the fruit. Finishes exceptionally long, sophisticated and polished.
Cellar 10-20 years plus.
This wine is the benchmark of the latent power, grace and inherent balance of the 2018 vintage in Margaret River. Texturally similar to the classically sophisticated 2014 vintage, but with far greater density and weight. Here, the savoury tannins are countersunk into the fruit already: shapely, firm, chewy, malleable – everywhere and nowhere at once. Waves of blood plum, cassis, blackberry, pomegranate, juniper, raspberries, saltbush, bay leaf and salted red licorice crash against the rocks, as kelp, nori, iodine, red gravel and brine ride the smaller sets out the back. Sensational. Astounding. A wine for the ages. Drink by 2052.
Erin Larkin – James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion
Highly perfumed aromas strike immediately. There is that combination of fruit sweetness and fine chalky minerally tannins. Loads of blackcurrant and juicy plum with a dollop of chocolate and mocha cut with floral and dried herb notes. Bright and energetic at every turn with subtlety and elegance. Delivers with a degree of understatement and restraint yet gathers pace and momentum as it drives through to the finish. The tannins are more in the powdery space with that slightly aspirin-like oak influence bringing it all together seamlessly and harmoniously. This is classic cabernet in its varietal makeup with a firm spine and length. The malbec has brought a vibrant red fruit juiciness into the equation. The finest wine yet from Vasse Felix. It’s 2016 without the tannin and 2014 without the opulence.
Ray Jordan – The West Australian
A great edition of the top Cabernet blend from Vasse Felix, this has a lot of power and depth. The aromas run from red to blue and dark berries with a leafy edge and attractive, fresh florals. The palate has a core of blue-toned fruit flavor that drives so deep, with a helix-like interplay of acidity and tannin. Impressive. Drink over the next decade or more. Screw cap.