Vasse Felix 'Tom Cullity' Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2017

  • Representing the pinnacle of Vasse Felix.
  • "Clearly, the best Tom Cullity to date." - Huon Hooke, 98 points
  • Delicate red berry notes move into savoury tones of cherry pip, mushroom, white clay, brie rind and tamari.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Jancis Robinson
    17.5 points
  • Decanter
    97 points
  • Huon Hooke
    98 points

Editors notes

A tribute to Vasse Felix’s founder Dr Tom Cullity that "takes Margaret River to another level!"

"2017 was an elegant, late season harvest resulting in beautifully ripe fruit, well preserved bright fruit fragrance and a long, delicate tannin profile. The tightly intermingled perfume carries Tom’s Block characters of savoury tobacco, earthy forest and nori-like ocean breeze. Delicate red berry notes move into savoury tones of cherry pip, mushroom, white clay, brie rind and tamari. A floral fragrance of violets frames this elegant vintage. A restrained and ethereal rendition of Margaret River Cabernet, the body is plush and shapely, with lovely red berry fruit characters and super fine, talc-like tannins of unbelievable length. Graceful and sophisticated with a savoury core, the delicate complexity of perfumes linger on the long, drying finish." - Winemaker's notes


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Jancis Robinson MW

    "Mid crimson with a pale rim. Herbal nose is – interesting! Then there's a really rather glorious array of tamarind fruit and spice on the palate entry, followed-up by sophisticated lifted fruit with the merest hint of eucalypt. I wonder whether I would guess this is Australian if served it blind? It seems to have the energy that many Bordeaux producers are now seeking. It is quite amazingly persistent. All building towards the finish. Admirable! And the Malbec is fully integrated. Really exciting wine."
  • Decanter

    "Deep, intense nose of ink, violets, bitter chocolate and coriander seed. Peppermint, sandalwood, cigar box, graphite and garrigue herbs unfurl on an expressive attack – and linger. Following the driest April since 1982, the tannins are paper-fine, ripe and plentiful. Like sap rising, the cocoa-dusted blackberry and cherry fruit slowly permeates the palate. Elegant and precise, with a long, tapering mineral and bitter chocolate finish."
  • Huon Hooke

    "Deep red/purple colour with a very fresh, nuanced, aromatic bouquet loaded with blue and red fruits, cedar and high-toned flowers, violets to the fore. A totally gorgeous bouquet, very fresh and primary but also complex and detailed. Very fine tannins; extremely long carry. A supremely elegant, sublime wine that finishes right out with impressive extension. Clearly, the best Tom Cullity to date."

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Australia's wine industry is a thriving part of the country's economy, contributing significantly to employment, production, export, and tourism. In fact, the industry is the fourth-largest wine exporter in the world, shipping out 760 million liters of wine to countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. One of the key factors contributing to Australia's success as a "New World" wine producer is the formal export and marketing of its wines through Wine Australia.

Australia's wine regions are scattered across the south and southeast, with almost every state boasting its own vineyards. Victoria, for example, is home to an impressive 21 wine regions. Some of the most famous wine regions in Australia include Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, and local regions to New South Wales such as Cowra, Southern Highlands, and Mudgee.

Australian winemakers are known for producing a diverse range of grape varieties, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir being among the most popular. They tend to focus on producing wines that are ripe, fruit-forward, and easy to drink, using modern winemaking techniques and equipment such as stainless steel tanks and temperature-controlled fermentation.

With its bold, fruit-driven flavors and reputation for quality and diversity, Australian wine has become a popular choice for wine lovers around the world. And with such a broad range of wine regions and grape varieties, there's something for every palate to enjoy.

Western Australia

The wine regions of Western Australia are located in the southwest corner of the state. Among them, the famous Margaret River region boasts a warm maritime climate, situated around 200 kilometers south of Perth. Although it experiences higher levels of rainfall than other wine regions in Australia, the majority of it occurs during the winter months. Margaret River is renowned for its production of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is often blended with Merlot to create Bordeaux-style wines. Additionally, the region's Chardonnays are highly sought after due to their high natural acidity and concentrated stone-fruit aromas. These wines are further enhanced by malolactic fermentation and barrel aging, which lend complexity and depth to their flavor profiles.

In addition to Margaret River, the Great Southern region is also known for its wine production. This region includes subregions such as Frankland River and Mount Barker, where floral Rieslings, elegant Shiraz with peppery notes, and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown. Other wine regions in Western Australia include Blackwood Valley, Geographe, Peel, Pemberton, Manjimup, and Swan District.

Each of these regions has its own unique terroir, resulting in a diverse range of wines with distinct characteristics. From full-bodied reds to crisp whites, Western Australia has something to offer for every wine enthusiast.

Margaret River

Margaret River is the name of a river, town and key wine region. It is one of the younger viticultural regions in Australia, quickly gaining popularity for its world-class wine. Located 280km South of Perth in Western Australia, the first plantings were only made in 1967. The region has grown rapidly and is recognised as one of the great wine-producing regions of the world, with over 200 wineries in operation. Made up of predominantly boutique producers, with a number of big player wineries also, the region makes up only 3% of the Australian wine production, but commands over 20% of the premium wine market. The wineries in the region are vibrant, innovative and progressive in their approach to viticulture.

The Mediterranean style climate provides superior maritime growing conditions, with vines not affected by extreme summer and winter temperatures. The region is well known for producing outstanding red wines; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and to a lesser extent Shiraz, Tempranillo and Malbec. Both straight varietals and famous Bordeaux blends can be outstanding.

In the white wines, Chardonnays of great depth and character, and fresh Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends are the main varietals the region is famous for. Lesser quantities of Viognier, Riesling and Muscat are also produced.

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About the brand Vasse Felix

Dr Thomas Cullit was a pioneer in the Margaret river region, establishing Vasse Felix in 1967 (first plantings in August 1967) - the founding wine estate of Margaret River. Located in the Wilyabrup sub-region, Vasse Felix also has vineyards in both the northern and southern ends of the appellation. Wilyabrup is the arguably most ideally suited sub-region for growing top Cabernet Sauvignon with its climate and 'terroir' comparable to Bordeaux's left bank Pomerol region

Chief winemaker Virginia Willcock is one of the most highly awarded and acclaimed female winemakers in Australia, having been named 2012 Gourmet Traveller Wine's Australian Winemaker of the Year. The estate was also named Winery of the Year in The Western Australian Wine Guide 2014. Her ability to craft wonderful whites and reds puts her in the top echelon of producers in the land.

The story behind the 'bird' in the logo, is an amusing one. Apparently the first few years for the vines were tough, with most of the fruit either destroyed by rot or eaten by native birds. In an attempt to protect the grapes from bird damage during harvest, falconry was introduced. This however proved to be unsuccessful as the first time the falcon was released to circle the vineyard it flew straight into the surrounding forest.

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