Vasse Felix Tom Cullity 2016

Vasse Felix, Margaret River's founding wine estate, was established by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity in 1967. Among his first plantings were Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec vines, from which he produced the estate’s first red wine. The Tom Cullity descends from these original vines and represents the pinnacle of Vasse Felix.

About the Vineyard

Dry warm spring conditions at the end of 2015 helped establish a healthy fruit set and better yields than the previous two seasons. January temperatures were warm, interrupted by one rainfall event late in the month, great viticulture management, clean, well-trimmed canopies and subsequent warm weather prevented disease risk. January rain gave red varieties a timely drink and moderate long, dry conditions finished them with bright fruit and ripe tannins. 

Wine Production

All blocks destemmed only without crushing and then allowed to ferment naturally. The Cabernet Sauvignon (making up 78%) was static fermented, gently pumped over through a splash tub and then left on skins for up to 30 days. This was a particularly brilliant year for tannin ripeness and the time on the skins allowed for the wine to become structurally sound and stabilised. The Malbec and Petit Verdot (making up 22%) were open fermented, hand plunged and pressed dry. The small sections were basket pressed to fine French oak and matured for 19 months. The strength of the fruit in this vintage resulted in a greater contribution from new oak compared to previous vintages.

Tasting Notes

APPEARANCE Ruby with a purple hue.

NOSE A deep perfume of wild berries reveals distinctive savoury characters, woodsy Margaret River Forest and briny ocean breeze. Intense and powerful with dried rose petal and violet paired with earthy aromas of mushrooms, the spice of fresh cedar, and linseed oil. Hints of peppermint tree leaves are complemented by enticing notes of a canelé pastry and dark chocolate.

PALATE Incredibly luscious, rich fruit builds into a long, fine, powdery tannin structure. Refreshing floral notes are expressed throughout the palate with lingering blackcurrant and blackberry. Medium bodied, the complexity of ocean and nori influence pairs beautifully with notes of chocolate, leather polish and exotic spices. An elegant, palpable and clean dry finish with earthy power and wild berry custard tart rounding out this complex palate.

Production Info
Production area/appellation
Margaret River
Soil composition
deep gravel loam soil over clay
Average Vine Age
53 years
Year vineyard planted
1967
Harvest time
March-April 2016
First vintage of this wine
2013
Winemaking & Aging
Varietal composition
78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot
Prefermentation Technique
100% wild yeast, whole berry
Time on its skins
11-30 days
Fermentation container
78% Static Fermentation, 22% Open Fermentation
Age of Aging Container
80% new, 20% 1-4 year old
Malolactic fermentation
Full
Fining agent
Egg white
Type of aging container
Barriques
Type of oak
French
Length of aging before bottling
19 months
Certifying Organizations
NASSA
Analytical Data
Alcohol
14 %
pH level
3.57
Residual sugar
0.33 g/L
Acidity
6.4 g/L

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