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The entire package: Rosemount Estate Diamond Label 2004

Aussie wine dynasty is launching redesigned bottles with pointy bases; current vintages of Shiraz still prove to be sharp despite their traditionally rounded bottoms
Rosemount Estates Diamond Label Shiraz 2004 southeastern australia
I feel quite late in posting this New World Shiraz review. Not because I was uploading a heap of Chilean, Californian and Australian Shirazes last week for Wine Blogging Wednesday #30 and not because I went bouncing from browser to web browser trying to find a way to upload today's notes (I had to use Safari to sign in and do the image uploads but Mozilla to actually publish). No, no, it's none of those things. This feels so late because the 2004 bottle of Rosemount Estate Shiraz pictured above seems light years behind the fancy vessels used in their other wines, like the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc that is out now, shown over on the right.

diamond bottle four point base glass wine vessel rosemount estates sauvignon blancIn case you haven't seen it, Winorama has posted a full review for it -- well, a review of the wine at least. But I found myself immediately drawn to the image of the bottle itself, which is a design wonder: it's a typical wine bottle that comes to four points at the base. It's a clever marketing idea to concretely convey Rosemount Estate's diamond logo within the physicality of the vessel that contain their Diamond Label wines. Sheesh, this is starting to sound like a semiotics essay. The point is that I bet Francis Coppola is kicking himself for not coming up with this showy gimmick for his similarly named Diamond line first.) It simply looks great, especially when it's carrying white wine.

But the package shouldn't affect the wine, should it? Hmmm... would blind tastings exist if it didn't? Would millions of dollars in advertising and product placement be spent if packaging didn't affect people's perception of the goods? As a serious taker of wine tasting notes, I hope that none of those things gets in the way of my assessments. But there is something about the bottle I have that is worth drawing particular attention to.

The 2004 Shiraz wine bottle, though not as pretty as the newfangled one, does feature another interesting if somewhat odd physical feature: the flange-top. I know there are people who hate the way flanges interfere with some corkscrews but I happen to like these a lot. Flange openings seem to let the wine flow out of the bottle in a more graceful stream. You're less likely to slop and if it's a delicate older wine you are less likely to add extra aeration from a choppier flow. Flanges do collect dust though and their shape prevents manufacturers from covering them with capsules so they do require dusting from time to time -- but then some corks flake upon uncorking, which makes this a moot point in my mind. (This report from last year indicates all that I had suspected -- the Rosemount flange-top is out and even the Shiraz bottles will eventually start donning the sleek new look.)

I digress. In the end, the Rosemount Estate Diamond Label Shiraz 2004 is going to arrive in your glass pretty much the same no matter the carrier, pointy-toed bottom or flaring flange-top. Trying my best to block out all the fanfare, here's how I found it:

It sports an opaque purple colour with pink rim. On the nose it is rich -- big savory cherries and spicy grenadine with a hint of eucalyptus. The spicy element translates directly to the palate.

This is a big and instantly rewarding wine. The oak is noted at beginning middle and end on the palate but it's not a turn-off; it's well integrated and sincere. This varietal may not be tremendously structured, nor does it possess a fantastic finish but it IS a quaffer. The acid is there and even on the second night nothing got too overly rounded for my liking.

Rosemount's version reminds me a lot of Midi Syrah, but juicier, more savoury, more viscous. A definite barbecue wine, meaning serve it with any bold food year-round: Harissa-scented sausages with couscous and chickpeas, grilled chicken salad or delivery pizza that on any other night would be too sweet and heavy for your elegant French wines.

Denman, New South Wales, Australia. 14%.

1 comment:

Joe said...

The Diamond Label Grenache/Shiraz used to be my 'go to' cheap Aussie, but it has been a few years (I've kinda moved over to D'Arenberg and Yalumba now). Neat story on that bottle - it will sell. As for Pizza, I still like the Nippozzana pairing, and the Falesco Vitiano (in stock at the SAQ) works very well as well.