Rosemount is one of the best known Australian wine brands, and has been gracing the shelves of the UK market for over 15 years. Created in 1969, by owner Bob Oatley, the Rosemount brand is all about helping wine drinkers through a range of clearly labelled and defined wines, from fruity easy-drinking, everyday wines, to some of the most premium, and award-winning wines from Australia. The Rosemount winery was first established in the Hunter Valley, on a site dating back to 1864.
Back in the early years of the 2000 decade, Rosemount was the number one brand in the UK. A change of strategy, and the rapid influx of many other brands, toppled it from that position, and Rosemount has had a quiet presence in recent years. However a new range is planned for the UK, later this year, with a plan to reposition the brand, and bring some exciting new wines to the market.
The charismatic Bob Oatley’s vision, back in 1969, was to produce top quality wine, at every level of the scale, and to market this in a way which would be easy for the consumer to try a wide variety of styles, and across a range of prices, from the everyday to the very highest award winners.
With the launch of the Rosemount brand, based from the historical Rosemount vineyard of 1864, Oatley went about purchasing vineyards in prime locations around South Australia, in order to ensure top quality grapes for his brand, and ensuring the benefit of different locations and soil types, matched the ideal grape variety for each particular site, including the now home of Rosemount, land and wineries in the McLaren Vale.
The first vintage was in 1974, and by the early 80s, Rosemount was winning awards all over the world, including double gold at the UK International Wine & Spirit Competition, for its Rosemount Estate Show Reserve Chardonnay. Until the end of the 20th century, Rosemount stormed ahead all over the world, establishing an almost unique brand presence, from its classic varietals, through regional wines, to its flagship Balmoral Syrah. By 1999 Rosemount Diamond Label Shiraz had become the top selling Australian red wine brand in the US.
For Australia, the 1990s were the original golden years, with the wine market booming, and Australian wines, in particular, taking the market by storm, and vying for space on supermarket shelves and for wine drinkers’ attention. Rosemount had a simple point of difference; rather than focus on the heritage, which many of its competitors were doing, what made Rosemount unique, was its packaging and brand positioning. At a time when cork was still the traditional method of closure, Rosemount launched its classic varietals with rubber corks of different, bright colours. The bottles were distinctive, embossed, with wide flange-lipped tops, and eye-catching, easily recognisable, and uncomplicated diamond labels.
Rosemount set out its stall, as a modern Australian brand, with a bold and very different approach. It was also the first brand to sell wines of the current vintage, leading the trend, towards younger, fresher, fruitier and more accessible styles of wine.
By 2001, Rosemount was the number 1 Australian brand in the UK, and yet today, is not even in the top 10; in 2001, Rosemount merged with top Australian wine company Southcorp, in a reverse takeover, followed by further takeovers over the years, and started to lose its way. Stronger brands overtook it, although there is still good distribution, and a loyal following for this innovative brand, which gave a whole new meaning to the words ‘fruit-driven wine’. In Australia, Rosemount continued to perform strongly, and in 2012 won ‘best producer in show’ at the 2 top Australian wine competitions.
What Styles Of Wine Do Rosemount Produce
Right from the outset, the philosophy at Rosemount was to move away from the traditional and put a modern and new twist of winemaking styles. Instead of conventional wine making styles, the winemakers of Rosemount focussed on bringing young, fresh, immediately appealing wines, both white and red, to wine drinkers, and were a leading light in marketing wines, in the same year that they were made, which is now an accepted norm for the majority of New World wine producers.
Rosemount cover the whole gamut of styles and prices within Australian wine, but all with the distinctive diamond label, in various guises. Whilst a major relaunch is planned for later this year, the classic Diamond label wines, in their distinctive bottles, with an octagon shaped base, still demonstrate the modern, fruity style, which has been the hallmark of the brand.
Estate and Show Reserve - The Estate and Show Reserve are the classic, premium quality wines from Rosemount, showing true regional and varietal styles, from specific areas and vineyards. The range includes the award-winning Show Reserve Chardonnay, as well as a sumptuous Coonawarra Cabernet and an intense, velvety Shiraz.
Rosemount Diamond Cellars - This range comprises the classic dual varietals of Semillon/Chardonnay, Semillon/Sauvignon, Cabernet/Merlot, and Shiraz/Cabernet. There is also a range of single varietals, showcased in a modern style, with a creamy, tropical Chardonnay, and 3 classic reds, a fruity, plummy Merlot, intense, smooth and currant Cabernet and a bold, spicy Shiraz.