Robert Parker 97
Made with 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Malbec, this had a 100% wild ferment with 100% whole berry and was matured in French oak for 17 months (66% new). The 2019 season in Margaret River was cool and wet (in a good, balanced way), and it produced wines of presence, poise, detail and nuance. The only problem with 2019 as a vintage here was its proximity to the great 2018. However, the beauty of a year like 2019 is its ability to satisfy the drinkers who prefer cooler seasons. It’s all mood-related for me, and on some days, a cool-season wine is preferred to a powerful one, and vice versa. No right or wrong. The low-yielding 2019 vintage is the first time the Tom Cullity wine did not include any percentage of Petit Verdot (previously, anything from 1% to 4.5% has made it into the blend). So, to the wine. On the nose, the 2019 Tom Cullity Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec is brooding and dark, with layers of blackberry, resin, chewing tobacco, nori, saltbush, togarashi spice (nori, Valencia orange peel, cayenne pepper, sesame, ginger, poppy seed, white pepper) and licorice root grace the aromatics. In the mouth, the wine follows suit. A seductively dark, satisfying and svelte wine, it’s super good. This is a more polarizing style than the universally lauded 2018.
James Halliday 98
It s often a shame to taste a flagship wine so young when it has decades ahead of it, but that feeling lasted a nanosecond before turning to respect, then ‘oh my, this is awesome’. Sometimes I get very excited. In this seductive youthful stage, it s fragrant with florals from violets to lavender, plenty of blueberries and bramble all wonderfully savoury with lots of warming spices. The palate offers charm, detail and excellent structure with velveteen tannins and a fine acid line teasing this to a long, long finish.