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The wines of Rosemount

18 Herbert Street, Artarmon, NSW 2064, Australia Tel: +61 (0)2 439 3222

A reliable, solid range from this Hunter Valley-based producer, with good wines at every level. Often more expensive than their peers, but sometimes a little classier. Recently, they have expanded out of New South Wales and have begun to produce some serious, high-end wines from South Australia, also. Notes are from Fuller's wine tasting (05/12/99) and Decanter Fine Wine Encounter (20/11/99).

Fuller's tasting

1999 Semillon Sauvignon blanc
Good crisp, fresh dry white, but unremarkable. A little overpriced at 5.99.

1998 Chardonnay
Subtle oak influence (3 months part new oak). This is savoury, fresh and tasty: very good for the price (6.99).

1998 Show Reserve Chardonnay
Hunter Valley fruit, from two vineyards, Roxburgh and Giant's creek. 11 months French and American new oak. Big vanilla oak nose. Savoury and fresh, but with plenty of complexity. Very good if you are not averse to a bit of oak: I quite like this wine. (9.99)

1998 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a red wine made more-or-less in the same way as a white wine, with cold fermentation and no oak. Lovely bright sweet nose of strawberry and cherry fruit, with a touch of banana. Light and pleasantly tart, this is an attractive style for young drinking. Perhaps a little overpriced at 6.49: would be great value for 5!

1998 Cabernet Sauvignon
Aged in a blend of French and American oak. Lovely deep colour, with a sweet, ripe nose. However, on the palate there is quite high acidity and perhaps the wine is a little bit too 'technological'. I'm not as keen on this as I have been on previous vintages. At 7.49, better value is available elsewhere.

1998 Shiraz
Fruit is sourced primarily from McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek. Aged in a blend of French and American oak. This has a pleasant spicy sweet nose. On the palate it is still quite tannic: again, this is tasty, but not as good as previous vintages, tasting quite technological. (7.49)

1996 'GSM' McLaren Vale
A blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Shiraz and 10% Mourvedre, from the McLaren vale, aged in new American oak for 18 months. Lovely spicy sweet nose, with sweet berry fruits and a cherry-like finish. It is warm, authentic, complex and concentrated, but perhaps a little too reliant on American oak for me to want to splash out 16 on it.

1996 'Traditional' McLaren Vale
This is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot that has spent 18 months in new American oak. Deep coloured and sweetly fruited, this an attractive, serious wine. Again, however, the sweet American oak is prominent and in my book stops this wine getting top marks. (16)

Decanter Fine Wine Encounter

Roxburgh Chardonnay 1996
Intense, ripe, enormous wine with good oak handling. The complex tropical fruit flavours belie the warm-climate origins of this wine. Good, but expensive at 34.

Orange Vineyard Chardonnay 1997
This second single vineyard Chardonnay from Rosemount may be the cheaper of the two, but I prefer it. It is rich, spicy, intense and savoury. Very good.

Mountain blue 1997, Mudgee
An opaque purple colour, this is a huge, dense wine. It is richly oaked, with minty fruit and a syrupy texture. Extraordinary stuff. Excellent if you like this supercharged style, but not cheap.

Traditonal 1997, McLaren Vale
A Bordeaux-style blend. Interestingly, this contains some Petit Verdot, a grape that is rarely encountered. Deep purple/red. Huge menthol-laced wine with sweet oak. Big and tasty, very good.