The new release of the exceptional 2018 Cullen 'Kevin John' Chardonnay from has finally landed. Named for the late Dr Kevin John Cullen, this is the flagship wine for the venerable Cullen Estate in Margaret River.
The grapes were hand-harvested from old Chardonnay vines (with a minimum age of 32 years). The fruit from these vines is also carbon negative, since 2006 Cullen has been participating in voluntary carbon offsetting. The must is fermented in a mix of barrels, concrete eggs and puncheons and then left to age for 6 months in barrels.
2018 has been an excellent vintage for Chardonnay in the Margaret River and the Kevin John Chardonnay is looking as outstanding as ever with notes of lime, pear, honeysuckle and a mineral edge. Each year this release is highly anticipated by wine collectors and the bottles disappear quickly. Be sure not to miss out on an allocation of this amazing wine!
This wine, our flagship 2018 Kevin John has been sourced from our old chardonnay vines planted in 1976-1988. They are Gin Gin Clone, also known as the Old Wente Clone originally from UC Davis. They produce tiny yields of the best quality fruit. This year it was 2.75 tonnes per hectare of certified biodynamic, carbon negative fruit, how wonderful!
Harvest took place from 29th January until 12th February with one pick on a Moon opposite Saturn Flower day, and the remaining fruit harvested on fruit and flower days according to the biodynamic calendar. The bunches were hand harvested, whole bunch pressed and the juice racked to barrel. The parcel of fruit from the Moon Opposite Saturn Harvest was fermented in concrete egg before ageing in puncheons. Of the remaining juice, 70% was fermented in puncheons and 30% in barriques, with 50% new oak.
This stunning chardonnay went through 100% natural malolactic fermentation and spent a total of 6 months in barrel. The wine has had minimal bentonite fining and no filtering or cold stabilization, and will age well for 20 years.
On the advice of eminent agronomist Dr. John Gladstones, Dr. Kevin and Diana Cullen planted a trial acre of vines at Wilyabrup, Margaret River in 1966. Commencing in 1971, 18 acres of vines were planted on their sheep and cattle farm, including their first Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc were planted between 1976 and 1978.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Bright, medium to full yellow colour. A very complex bouquet of candlewax, beeswax, oatmeal and smoky-toasty cashew nut and roasted almond. Grapefruit and other citrus flavours in the mouth. The wine is beautifully intense and complex, restrained and refined as well as concentrated and elegant, the long-lasting finish showing great balance and harmony. An absorbing wine of great bouquet and flavour, with the full array of chardonnay complexities. The aftertaste seems never-ending
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
The two things here that lift this wine above the pack are texture and length, and both are unquestionably impressive. There’s zing and chalk, intensity, and a lingering aftertaste. In among all that there’s ripe lime, spicy oak, mint nougat, dried pear and cashew. Power delivered on rails of zesty acidity, a saline character, oak certainly present, but not overdone. It’s the very model of a modern Chardonnay. It’s a beauty.