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Premium wines from Rosemount

Rosemount, based in the Upper Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, is turning its sight to other regions for its premium wines. In New South Wales, two smaller regions in particular are beginning to make a name for themselves, Mudgee and Orange, and Rosemount are making fine wines from both of these, located over the dividing range from the Hunter. In South Australia, the McLaren Vale is flourishing, producing deep, chocolatey red wines with great concentration and depth and guess what, Rosemount is there too. I was pleased to have the chance to try five of Rosemount's best reds, three from Mudgee, one from Orange, and one from the McLaren Vale. They're all superb, but especially impressive is the Mountain Blue, which is a stunner. On the value for money stakes, the Hill of Gold wines romp home: they are great bargains at 10.

Hill of Gold Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, Mudgee
From a single vineyard in the NSW region of Mudgee. Purple/black colour. Lovely concentrated nose of menthol-laced fruit. Beautifully rich and soft, with great concentration. Superb. (Available from Waitrose only for 9.99)

Hill of Gold Shiraz 1998, Mudgee
Soft rich and ripe. Again. It has a lovely texture with super concentration. Another really nice wine.

Mountain Blue Shiraz/Cabernet 1997
Another single vineyard wine from Mudgee. This has a fantastic nose! There are elements of mint, eucalyptus, herbs, menthol and spice. A massive wine of huge concentration and rich texture. Quite astonishing stuff, but in my opinion not overdone. Excellent. (Around 20)

Balmoral Syrah 1997, McLaren Vale
Unusual caramel edge to the nose. It has masses of soft, concentrated fruit. A really interesting wine displaying the soft richness that typifies McLaren Vale reds, but I prefer the Mountain Blue. (Around 35)

Orange Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1996, Orange
Concentrated and spicy, tannic and rich. The cooler climate of the Orange region shows itself in this wine, which is quite different again. Very good. (Around 16)