The 2007 Kevin John Chardonnay produced the weirdest Australian Chardonnay tasting experience I can remember. It had a very strong aroma and actually smelled of pot, I kid you not. Many flavours of grass, earth, dung etc. You could not help but sense that the biodynamics applied at Cullen have had a major influence here and that the soil components have jumped straight into the glass. The flavours were more traditional: citrus dominated, but also grapefruit. The wine seemed a bit easy and straight forward (somebody said: like lemon juice), but the wine had a very impressive and long finish. This wine clearly needs more time.
Then came the two mid-priced reds. The 2007 Cullen Mangan and the 2007 Cullen Cabernet Merlot. The Mangan is a predominant Malbec/Petit Verdot blend. The wine has violet colour, a blackcurrant flavour, and is quite spicy and tannic. There is strong varietal expression, but a slightly harsh mouthfeel. The Cabernet/Merlot is the smoother wine, good, but not exceptional fruit expression: a nice, easy drinking style.
On to the main event: The 2007 Cullen Diana Madeline. This wine is the biggest Cabernet/Merlot I can recall coming from Cullen ( it includes also small percentages of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). The colour is very black and the tannins are strong, but fine grained. The flavours are very deep and complex: predominantly blackcurrant, but also mulberry and coffee. The wine fills out nicely through the Merlot component and has a very long, powerful finish. This wine is way too young to be enjoyed now, but I predict a very long life ahead, maybe 30 years. It is a sensational achievement.
Overall, the 2007 vintage may just deliver what it promised. Here is my issue: the biodynamics are increasingly showing an influence: the wines are more full flavoured than before, and in an effort to produce elegant wines, there is a risk that too much edgyness is shaved off the wines. Are they too polished? (I am talking about the reds here) . However, this is just a question. I remain very impressed with Vanya Cullen's wines.