Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their December 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).
Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines are produced with grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.
This wine takes its name from the 'Red Moon' which occurs during a total lunar eclipse when the light filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere dapples the moon in red light. This penumbral lunar eclipse occurred on 11th February 2017 during harvest. The grapes are grown on a single vineyard in the Wilyabrup subregion of the Margaret River. The soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot are three varieties that are particularly well suited to growing in this area. In the 'Red Moon' wine, the Malbec provides the fruit power and colour, the Petit Verdot the length and texture and the Merlot the structure.
The 2017 harvest was challenging both in the vineyard and the winery. A traditionally wet winter was followed by slightly cooler than average spring and summer temperatures - a cold and stormy October contributing to a slow start in the vineyard. Fine conditions in November with below average rainfall and above average temperatures ensured veraison was only slightly delayed and the slow accumulation of flavour and ripeness ensured the fruit maintained good natural acidity levels. Above average rainfall in March made harvest decisions tricky but below average rainfall and fine weather in April supplied a nice finish for a vintage that has delivered great quality and quantity.
The grapes for this wine were hand harvested, destemmed and vinified with the emphasis on accentuating the fruit character of the grapes. Only wild yeasts were used. The wine was matured for nine months in French oak barriques, 10% of which were new. It received no additives except the requisite sulphur and was not fined.
57% Malbec, 37% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot.
This wine is medium red in colour with hints of ruby. On the nose, there are plum and cherry aromas that are accompanied by lifted floral notes. The palate has a very attractive blend of juicy dark cherry, blueberry and hints of spice. Well-balanced acidity is backed by fine grained tannins on the long savoury finish.
ABV = 12.0%.
The 2015 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...
James Millton is a living legend in the New Zealand wine scene. A pioneer of organic and biodynamic winemaking, he has ploughed his own furrow for three decades, quietly convinced that his sustainable approach to viticulture and winemaking was the only way to progress.
The Millton winery's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.
ABV = 12.5%.