Cullen’s Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 1998

Darkish Burgundy in colour, it has lost that bright purple of youth, there is a brown brick coloured ring around the edge showing age has crept up on this long lived wine. It was also a little cloudy, the bottle should have been decanted to avoid this. There are dark rich berry fruits on the nose with a touch of oak, balanced palate of dark berry fruits with mouth filling fine tannins and a nice bite of acidity on the finish which does not overpower the fruit, lovely and long finish.

To me Cullen’s is the hardest of the big name Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends to identify its origins on the nose. An example of this, when at a blind tasting of 4 Margaret River 4 Coonawarra  and 4 Bordeaux’s, the Cullen’s Diana Madelaine 2007 was the only Margaret River incorrectly  identified, thought it was a Coonawarra. Same with the 1998, though it did not have a pronounced Coonawarra identity, what it has is a much more pronounced individuality than some for the other big name Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends. This is not a criticism of the others, I very much enjoy their Margaret River style, more a question of what makes Cullen’s different while still reflecting its Margaret River heritage. Will need to open another bottle in the near future to look more closely into this.

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