Margaret River - Australia
750ml / 14.5% ABV
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
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.
99 points James Suckling
That this is an elegant wine is the first thing to note here. The nose has hints of gravel and leafy nuances — a textbook regional expression. It's really seductive, and there's a fusion of bright and vibrant redcurrants, boysenberries and red cherries together with cassis and blue plums as well as mulberries. Some fresh, violet-like florals and freshly cut herbs also come into play along with pomegranate and deliciously fresh and cedary oak that's well played in behind vineyard-focused characters. The richer malbec fruits are clear here, and at 20% of the blend, it has a role to play, both in terms of the upfront plushness and back palate depth. The old vines are also working some magic within the layers of structure and length here. The palate's immaculate and supple, the tannins are fluid, long and polished, and there's detail here as well as depth, before things culminate in an incredibly fresh finish. Tannins are superbly elegant and truly refined. This is a wine of finesse and fine detail. Beautifully grown, perfectly captured and astutely crafted. This is everything a great wine should be and a new step for Vasse Felix, Margaret River and for Australian cabernet. Drink 2020-2030+. (1/2017)
98 points James Halliday
98 pts *Special Value" Wild-fermented with 28-35 days on skins, matured in French oak (61% new) for 18 months. Don't pay any attention to the slightly light colour, but certainly dwell on the gloriously fragrant bouquet and the intensity of the cassis-accented palate. This is a truly sophisticated blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 20% malbec and 4% petit verdot, with exceptional texture, length and aftertaste. (10/2016)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
(95+) The exciting debut of a new Vasse Felix flagship, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Tom Cullity is named for the winery's founder. Unlike the supplanted Heytesbury red, it's made entirely from estate fruit, primarily from the winery's oldest vines. It's a rich, expansive wine yet retains a firm, structured core that should allow it to age gracefully. Mint and bay leaf notes add complexity to the cassis fruit, while flourishes of French oak add vanilla and cedar. Vasse Felix was one of the founding wineries of the Margaret River wine region, roughly two and a half hours' drive south of Perth in Western Australia. The winery and the region celebrate their 50th anniversaries in 2017, marked by numerous celebrations. In addition, Vasse Felix launched a new flagship red wine with the release of its 2013 Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec. Named for the winery's first owner, it's an apt tribute to the cardiologist who did so much to launch Margaret River.
18 points Jancis Robinson
Virginia Willcock reckons Malbec brings meatiness. The old blocks are privileged nowadays. ‘Plush, levitating fruit weight. Big is not better.’ Very refined nose. Much more so than most Malbecs I taste. Rich but not at all sweet. Young acidity but transparency. Very juicy. Balsam and kicks up its heels. Very fine tannins. Racy. Salty and subtle. (9/2017)
Colour: Deep maroon with a brick and purple tint.
Nose: Rather savoury to start with meaty mushroom, nori, salty sea breeze, graphite and spicey cedar notes. Opens beautifully with cherry pip, cassis, Christmas cake, orange rind, pot pourri and hints of Australian forest floor.
Palate: A remarkable, refined, soft, elegant and almost creamy Cabernet style with sublime tannin and mouthfeel. The flavour is full, yet elevated and carries cherry, cassis, hints of cinotto, cedar and chocolate. It finishes juicy, while fine and dry.
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