wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The wines of Rosemount Estate, Australia: Part I

Recently purchased by Australian wine giant Southcorp (owner of Penfolds, Lindemans, Wynns et al), Rosemount has been one of the great success stories of Australian wine. Producing a well marketed range of branded wines, impeccably made and with a strong brand image, they have successfully managed to sell them at higher price points than most of their peers, thus increasing profitability. Although they are historically based in the upper Hunter Valley, relatively little of their wine actually comes from here; most is made from bought in grapes from a range of different vineyard areas across south eastern Australia.

I recently tried the complete range; I'm writing them up here in two more-easily digested parts (see Part II, the premium wines). First, the core of the range, which consists of the familiar 'split label' blends and 'diamond label' premium varietal wines. What can I say about these? They are faultlessly made, and designed to appeal to a wide audience, and although I'd enjoy drinking most of these at social gatherings -- particularly the tasty Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet -- they are not really wines that are aimed at serious wine nuts. However, for those looking for reliable, enjoyable drinking -- perhaps the majority of consumers?-- these wines may be just the ticket. My only gripe concerns the prices. At regular retail (£6.99- £7.99, depending on the wine), they are a little on the expensive side, and for this money you can often find a more interesting alternative. But with Rosemount's regular discounting (you don't have to wait long for the next Rosemount special offer in the major outlets), most of these wines can be found at more appealing prices.

'Split label' blends

Semillon Chardonnay 2000
Some of the Chardonnay was given a brief spell in oak, otherwise this is all tank fermented and made in an easy drinking style. The citrussy nose has a touch of tropical fruit. It's quite rich on the palate, but retains some freshness. Good commercial winemaking. Very good

GTR 2000
A blend of Gewürztraminer and Riesling, made in an off-dry style. Granny's favourite? An aromatic, expressive nose has some spicy notes. The palate is medium sweet and quite rich, but has enough acidity to keep things from becoming cloying. Possibly worth trying with spicy Asian food? Good/very good

Grenache Shiraz 2000
Amazingly fruity nose of bright raspberries and cherries carries through to the palate. The primary fruit character dominates, but there's a touch of spice on the finish. This is a light, fruity glugger that's definitely not meant to be taken too seriously. Very good

Shiraz Cabernet 2000
The rounded nose shows sweet, ripe berry fruits. The palate is sweetly fruited, with a juicy character, good acidity and a soft finish. A little more serious than the Grenache/Shiraz, but still good fun. Very good

Cabernet Merlot 2000
Lovely forward nose of berry fruit and blackcurrants. The palate is ripe and full, with sweet fruit and a touch of tannin on the soft finish. Very good

'Diamond label' premium varietals

Semillon 2000
I was a bit underwhelmed by this wine. There's a crisp lemony nose, and the palate is dominated by citrussy fruit and high acidity. It's quite food friendly with all the acidity; perhaps it will develop a bit of complexity with a year or two in the bottle. Good/very good

Chardonnay 2000
Textbook stuff, made with fruit from the Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale and the Murray River. There's rich tropical fruit with undelying toasty nuttiness from the oak. The fresh acidity gives balance to the rich, rounded fruit. Very good+

Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Using grapes from the Hunter Valley and Adelaide Hills, Rosemount have fashioned a nice cool-climate expression of this grape. The varietally true nose shows gooseberry and grapefruit character, and the palate is crisp and taut. Very good

Shiraz 2000
Fruit sourced from Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and Mudgee; matured for 8 months in American oak. The enticing, sweet nose shows rich, sweet, spicy berry fruit. The palate is sexy and full, with a rich, spicy character: it manages to be both savoury and sweet at the same time. A real crowd-pleaser. Very good+

Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Fruit from Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and Mudgee; 9 months in oak. Characterful and approachable. Lovely forward nose with blackcurrant fruit, a pleasant leafiness and some medicinal notes. There's a touch of spice on the palate, which is rich and full, with some fine-grained tannins. Attractive. Very good+

Merlot 1999
Fruit from McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Mudgee and Orange; spends 11 months in French and American oak. A lighter red colour. Red berry fruit with a leafy, herby edge. The palate shows soft, savoury plummy fruit with some spice from the oak. Quite a rich style. Very good

Back to top