I essentially ‘fell in love’ with wine via the 1999 Rosemount Estates Diamond Label (Red) Shiraz. I swore that the ’99 was so much better than the current vintage at the time (which I think was 2001), and it may have been, but what mattered to me was that I THOUGHT it was.
I think that what really happened was that it created a challenge for me to FIND a 1999, which was essentially impossible b/c it was such a high volume wine and the internet (at least for wine) hadn’t evolved yet to support a search. Either way, it created an appreciation for me on trying, finding, and collecting wine which certainly hasn’t subsided!
As my tastes evolved, I began to appreciate (and afford) some of the higher end Rosemount wines – Mudgee, Balmoral, GSM, etc. I loved them all, but eventually my tastes turned domestic – primarily to California. Most likely b/c of the powerful, fruit forward, high alcohol styles at both are known for. (And yes, I know that this makes me less than a ‘well rounded’ wine lover b/c I prefer the smash-you-over-the-head wines. I’m ok with that.)
So the other day, I came across a bottle of ’06 Rosemount GSM, and figured – what the hell? I’m glad I did.
This isn’t the smashmouth ball-breaker you can depend on getting from Australian wines, but that’s a good thing. Given that it’s a GSM – which is short for ‘Grenache – Syrah (Shiraz) – Mourvedre’, it is originally a Rhone blend from the Rhone Valley in France, and that means BALANCE FIRST. Rosemount is true to the style, while layering in some of the terroir and style that is also true to Australia. I also think that the McLaren Vale is less ‘intrusive’ as the Barossa or other super hot areas of Australia.
This is a soft, supple wine, whose tannins take over mid way thru and finish the job. Slightly oaky, but in a way that bridges the fruit to the finish perfectly. Supple blueberry fruits, married with a nice spice balance that ranges from cinnamon to nutmeg. It’s actually a very beautiful blend between the two.
There is certainly a looong finish, and there is an odd convergence of a watery weight, with a big fruity/tannic ending. I’d actually like to see a little more density of weight or viscosity (b/c that’s what I prefer) but this certainly does a fine job in it’s own right. I think that this is why i didn’t realize that the alcohol was as high as it is – 14.5%.
If there was one thing that I WOULD change about this wine, it’s the bottle. There is some weird “circle turning into a square’ thing that all of the Rosemount bottles do at the base, which I think is reserved more for gimmicky wines in the $8-10 range. Granted they sell most of their wine in that same range, there is no need to use it in the higher end wines. It cheapens them.
Short of that nit-pick, the 2006 Rosemount GSM is a nice, well rounded alternative to either a big bad Shiraz -OR- a reserved Rhone blend. It holds its own against both, and plenty of other red blends that it could be compared to. Enjoy!