Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cullen Diana Madeline

Our wine for Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) this year was from the Margaret River area of western Australia.  The wine was a 2003 Cullen Wines, Diana Madeline - a blend of 72% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 4% petit verdot and 4% malbec.  It has been resting in the cellar for a number of years and yesterday was its time to shine.

The wine got four hours in a decanter before dinner, though there was a small sample taste when decanting.  That sample taste was very closed and offered little in the way of aroma and only basic fruit and tannin in the taste.  The four hours in the decanter totally transformed the wine.

When the lamb chops (pictured below) and pasta, filled with pureed asparagus and Gruyere cheese, was ready so was the wine.  There were strong and beautiful aromas of freshly crushed red cherries and darker berries.  There was a not too dry aroma of clean earth as well.  The wine was fully colored and dark in the glass.  The taste was a total balance between red cherries, a few berries and a much darker flavor of cassis.  There were ample tannins, but they were certainly not harsh.  They gave a great structure to the wine and left a sensation of graphite on the finish.  This wine was excellent from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat.  Despite the luscious fruit this wine stayed more to the savory side of life and with the lamb it was near perfect. 
2003 Cullen Wines, Diana Madeline.  13.5% alcohol and an internet searched replacement price of $130.

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