Cullen Kevin John Full Moon Fruit Day Chardonnay 2022


There was a time when if one wanted to talk Australia’s greatest Chardonnays, it tended to be a debate between Giaconda and Leeuwin Estate, or more likely, how good they both were, any final decision coming down to personal preference. These days, a second Margaret River winery, Cullen, has muscled into the argument and deservedly so with vintage after vintage of world class Chardonnays. This is not just with their standard (although there is nothing ‘standard’ about it) ‘Kevin John’, but with the amazing special releases from Vanya. Thrilling stuff. These wines sit not just with the very best from this country but the best from anywhere, including Burgundy. After tasting, there was simply no way that these wines were headed down the sink, so I took them to a lunch with friends, where they were up against a Montrachet from a famous name. It was no contest. The trio soared while the Montrachet slunk off with its tail between its legs. That won’t always happen, but it does show that these wines sit comfortably with the best. Harvested on a full moon day, the bunches went into amphorae for three days, before pressing to a flower day puncheon, for fermentation and four months maturation.

The thoughts which come to mind here include elegance, balance, a seamless nature with great length, impressive concentration and the quality of etherealness. A wine with such intensity, the layered palate brings notes of citrus to the fore with orange rinds and glacéd lemons. A fine line of grapefruity acidity, complemented by florals and pears, with mandarin on the finish. Wonderful stuff, a brilliant Chardonnay. It has the structure to last fifteen to twenty years if you really can hold on that long (and good luck with that).