Tom Cullity Cabernet Malbec
Vasse Felix, Margaret River's founding wine estate, was established by Dr Thomas Brendan Cullity in 1967. Among his first plantings were Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec vines, from which he produced the estate’s first red wine. The Tom Cullity descends from these original vines and represents the pinnacle of Vasse Felix.
Dr Tom Cullity
Dr Tom Cullity was a respected Cardiologist from Western Australia. He discovered the great table wines of Europe in the 1950s while in Britain working at the National Heart Hospital. Upon returning home, Tom set himself a mission to make fine wines in WA. He searched extensively for the perfect plot of land, taking guidance from the research of Professor Harold Olmo (1955) and Dr John Gladstones (1965) before establishing an 8 acre vineyard in Cowaramup called Vasse Felix.
His exhaustive work and persistence led to the successful creation of Margaret River’s first commercial wines. He is remembered for his pioneering role in establishing Margaret River.
All blocks were destemmed only without crushing and then allowed to ferment naturally. The Petit Verdot, Malbec and larger portion of Cabernet Sauvignon (making up 54%) were open fermented, hand plunged and pressed dry. The remaining 46% of the Cabernet and Malbec were static fermented, gently pumped over through a splash tub and then left on skins for up to 34 days, allowing the wine to stabilise and become structurally sound in such a brilliant year for tannin ripeness. The small sections were basket pressed to fine French oak and matured for only 16 months in this delicate vintage, with minimal racking.
Mild conditions in Margaret River with no extreme weather conditions, allowing for balanced fruit and a slow and steady intake. There was no disease pressure and fruit quality is excellent the only disappointment was yields being down across the Region for all key varieties. This was the outcome of storms in spring and pressure from an increase in the local population of Silver Eyes (birds) and no Marri Blossom.
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