Sunday, November 21, 2010
Rosemount Botanicals Sauvignon Blanc infused with lemon and elderflower (NV) (Retail)
(Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 193–206)
“What works on paper, has the tendency to ride on vapor”
Fading into Obscurity – Sloan
Some concepts look great on paper and work perfectly in theory. Sometimes market research and focus groups can anticipate consumer trends, assisting a company/industry to make a tidy profit in the process. On other occasions all the planning, research, brainstorming and marketing spin can make no difference whatsoever to the end result (just ask the Federal Australian Labor Party).
According to the Group Managing Director of Rosemount, the Rosemount Botanicals range of white wines are ‘aimed at making wine more attractive to drinkers who previously avoided it and to wine drinkers who would not normally drink during the day’ (Link)
The Botanicals range consists of three white wines that are lightly carbonated and infused with different fruits and florals - Chardonnay with apple and cucumber; Pinot Grigio with blood orange and rosewater; and the subject of this review, Sauvignon Blanc with lemon and elderberry.
I must admit, I was intrigued to see if these wines tasted as bad as they sound (in my opinion at least). It would be hypocritical to criticise the Botanicals range and snigger from the sidelines without trying them.
The colour of the wine is almost clear – like a glass of carbonated water with a teaspoon of Bickfords lime cordial. It smells sickly sweet - lychee, gooseberry and florals. It tastes sickly, cloyingly sweet - simple, green pie apples, lychee, and sugared ripe honeydew melon flavours are followed by an unpleasant bitter lemon rind finish that not even the high residual sugar can mask. Finally, there is no pretence of structure, length or intensity. One glass was enough to get the idea, and that was a struggle.
Rosemount are promoting the Botanicals range as chic and new, the fruit and floral infusions enlivening the wine. The cynic in me would argue that no amount of spin or marketing can make this range anything more than an over-engineered 2010 version of West Coast Cooler in a pretty, Bombay Sapphire-inspired 750ml bottle. Unfortunately, stranger things have happened.
All in all, I would have to say that there is no method in the fruit and herb infused madness. Surely there are more effective ways of converting non-wine drinkers to the joys of wine – making wine and not fizzy wine cooler might be a start.