Kevin Cullen was a passionate believer in the quality of Margaret River as a wine region and particularly of its potential to become one of the great areas for both Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. He thus created the Cullen Wines International Chardonnay Tasting, now in its 23rd year, to enable the wines from Margaret River to be compared with the great Chardonnays produced in other prime locations elsewhere in the world. Kevin felt that the lessons learnt from these comparisons would help Cullen Wines optimise the quality of the excellent Chardonnay fruit that was grown on their vineyards.
Cullen Wines have decided to recognise Kevin’s pioneering contribution to the elevation of its Chardonnay to prime status by naming this organic wine the ‘Kevin John’ and thereby form a formidable twin with the ‘Diana Madeline’, the Cabernet Sauvignon blend named in honour of his wife. In an average year Cullen produces around 1000 cases of Chardonnay, but in 2008 they were hit by rain and hail reducing the production to 300 cases.
The 2008 Kevin John Chardonnay (named ‘Kevin John’ after the winemaker’s father) has complex aromas of pineapple, hay, earth, marmite, toast, green mango and a touch of smoky bacon fat. Floral aromas of jasmine and orange blossom develop after a few minutes. Possessing an alluring combo of silkiness and minerality on the medium to full bodied palate, this is a very crisp, very complex Chardonnay with a very long finish.
REVIEWS & AWARDS
“Hazy yellow-gold. A powerful, highly fragrant bouquet displays ripe orange, nectarine, pear and pungent flowers. Lush, creamy and palate-saturating, with a sweet impression to the array of fruits and flavours. A smoky mineral undercurrent keeps things in check and carries through a broad, spicy, very long finish. I’d serve this with a rich, creamy lobster or crab dish. 92 points.”” – Josh Raynolds – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, July 2010