Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lunch @ Cullen Wines

After Sandalford, lunch was at the relatively near-by Cullen Wine estate.

Hungry tummies prevailed so wine tasting was kept to a short slurp before heading to the lunch table.

The Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008 was lean and crisp. Perhaps best with food. The Mangan 2007, a Petit Verdot-Malbec-Merlot blend, was an interesting red. Cullen's flagship red, Diana Madeline 2007, had a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (majority), Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Through the tasting of about 4-5 wines, I generally found Cullen Wines to be very clean-tasting. Almost clinical.

On to lunch... which was a few dishes shared between the four of us.

The Soup of the Day was Green Pea with Watercress (~AUS$12)- Very vegetal and green. Hehe.

Another daily special, Fresh Grilled Sardines (~AUS$20), was a table-pleaser! Totally unlike their canned cousins, these sardines had a tasty and oily flesh with a hint of smoke from the grill. Nice!

And yet another daily special, Venison (~$AUS30), was available on that day. Apparently this venison was from from a deer "just down the road". Cullen Wines make an effort to source for veggies, oils, meats, fish and other food produce either from their own farm or other local farms around the area. So dining here showcases the produce of the Margaret River area!

Crispy Skin Duck Breast with Grilled Polenta, Bramble Berries and Swiss Chard ($AUS36) was pretty good with gamey duck slices that were chewy. Their flavour matched the sweet-tangy berries well. I would have liked the skin to be crispier though.

For those who want variety, the Cullen Vineyard Lunch (for one) ($AUS28) is just that. Bits of marinated local octopus, organic black pig salami, zucchini pickle, creek cheese, vegetable fritatta, organic seasonal fruit and Yullingup woodfired sourdough on a plate. This is a great choice for a light lunch or to be shared as a starter/side.

It was a beautiful day and since places close around 5pm here, we should get moving!

Cullen Wines
Caves Road
Wilyabrup, Western Australia 6284
Opens: 10am to 4pm

Chew On This: Cullen Wines is a firm believer of the biodynamic philosophy. It respects the environment and even uses the practice of burying a cow's horn, filled with dung, in the soil! This is apparently to introduce microorganisms to aid in the uptake of nutrients from the soil.

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