Bob Oatley delivers the goods with the recently launched Robert Oatley Signature Series
Bob Oatley's mantra is that wines should be "darned good drink", and he delivers the goods with his recently launched Robert Oatley Signature Series created by star WA-based winemaker Larry Cherubino. Cherubino focuses on single-vineyard and single-region wines explaining that "we've produced a range of single-varietal, regional wines that I feel amply reflect their provenance, yet in a very modern fashion". The series includes, from the 2011 vintage, a Great Southern Riesling as well as a Sav Blanc and a Chardonnay from Margaret River. The reds, all from 2010, range from a delicious Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir to a McLaren Vale Shiraz and a Margaret River Cab Sauv. Not surprisingly, the crisp blue and white labels reflect a maritime influence and the wines are great value at $24 a bottle
Judy Sarris, Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine
It's hard not to respect Bob Oatley
"It's hard not to respect Bob Oatley… What makes this new range particularly interesting is the change in focus. Spearheaded by the Western Australian new Director of Winemaking Larry Cherubino, this new range leans significantly towards the west, with 2/3 of the wines sourced from WA vineyards, the remainder being regional favourites such as Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir and McLaren Vale Shiraz. Such a west Australia bias would probably not raise an eyelid for most wineries, yet for the rather staunchly NSW-centric Oatley family it's a significant change. A brand altering change. Still, when you see the enthusiasm of sharply dressed, wild-haired and super dedicated winemaker Larry and taste the new wines, it's hard not to see why they're going down this path - they've found their point man and are backing his judgements (with certain success). Speaking of success, of the new wines the more successful ones amongst them are indeed of Western Australian origin, notably the sprightly Great Southern Riesling and savoury Margaret River Cabernet, with only the slightly blocky and alcoholic Pinot Noir a lesser light in the range. Given the price of these new wines ($23.95 approx.), it's not hard to see the appeal. They're all, as Bob likes to call them 'darned good drink(s)'. Good drinks, fashioned for drinking, and well priced? Nice one Bob."
Andrew Graham, www.ozwinereview.com
"...there's every chance the latest signature series of wines bearing his name will be a winner."
ALTHOUGH Bob Oatley's supermaxi Wild Oats XI was controversially pipped at the post in last year's Sydney-to-Hobart classic, there's every chance the latest signature series of wines bearing his name will be a winner.Oatley, with the help of gun West Australian winemaker Larry Cherubino, is well on the way to achieving a grand ''second coming'' as a wine industry impresario with his Robert Oatley Signature Series selection. Former coffee king Oatley's first foray into the wine business dates back to the late 1960s when he founded Rosemount Estate on the outskirts of Denman in the Hunter Valley. The brand was later swallowed up in a $1.5 billion merger with Southcorp Wines and when the group eventually fell into the hands of Foster's (now Treasury Wine Estates) the Oatleys walked away with a pocketful of cash. Six years ago, Oatley established a new company bearing his name, using his newly acquired Montrose winery at Mudgee, along with 250ha of nearby vines he had owned privately, to launch his various brands. Sitting at the top of the tree is his new Robert Oatley Signature Series line-up featuring smart fruit selection from WA's Margaret River and Great Southern regions, Mornington Peninsula and McLaren Vale. Note that there's not a drop from the Hunter Valley, where the Oatley family first made its fortune. The clan has painful memories of how big mining companies devastated their once famous holding and this accounts for why they have moved elsewhere to build their new empire.For a first-up effort, the exceptionally talented Cherubino easily passes the test with the six wines unveiled over fabulous Matt Moran-created fare at his CBD hot spot ARIA. All priced around $23, 2011 Great Southern Riesling, 2011 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Margaret River Chardonnay, 2010 Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir, 2010 McLaren Vale Shiraz and 2010 Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon represent excellent value at every turn.
John Fordham, Sunday Telegraph (NSW)
Vintage Oatley better with age
FEW people understand the wine industry like Robert Oatley, yachtsman, Hamilton Island owner, businessman and founder of Rosemount Estate, which in its heyday was one of Australia's most successful labels. In 2002 the Oatley family agreed to merge with Southcorp in a $1.5 billion deal. The deal was a disaster with Oatley admitting he was ashamed at what happened to the brand. Three years later he sold his 18.8 per cent stake to Foster's, which set up a $3.2 billion takeover of what is now known as Treasury Wines Estates. Several years on and Oatley, his son Sandy and industry veteran Chris Hancock, all key players when Rosemount was in its pomp, are back in the business in a major way. Robert Oatley may be 81, but retains all his enthusiasm for labels under his umbrella, which include Wild Oats, Montrose, Tic Tok, Craigmoor and the new Robert Oatley Signature Series wines ($23.95 a bottle), which were launched a couple of weeks ago. He still sails (Wild Oats XI has won four of the last five Sydney to Hobart races) and still visits his Sydney office daily. The Oatleys are sourcing fruit from premium vineyards around the country, particularly Western Australia, which is no surprise given the hugely talented Larry Cherubino is their director of winemaking. Oatley describes Cherubino as the best winemaker in Australia. Cherubino's team includes former Thorn Clark winemaker Derek Fitzgerald, ex Constellation winemaker Robert Merrick and former Yarra Burn star Mark O'Callaghan. The Signature Series label has a suitably seafaring theme—a blue triangular nautical flag— and the Oatleys expect to sell in excess of 200,000 cases this year, many of them in the US. There is also a super-premium range in the pipeline with $100 price tags and Tasmanian pinot will be added to the range from the 2013 vintage. "We see the new range as a rebirth of our involvement in the wine industry," says Sandy Oatley. "They are part of our vision for the future, using the knowledge we have gained since we planted our first vineyard back in 1969. This is a family business and we can sense a lot of excitement still to come."
Winsor Dobbin, Sunday Examiner (Tas)
5 RED STAR
"Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity." Australian Wine Companion 2013 Edition, James Halliday.
James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2013
Business Masterclass examines "The Oatley Way" to learn about what it takes to run "Australia's most successful family business." View article here.
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2012
5 Star Winery – 10 wines 90 Points or over!
Wine Access 2011 HOT LIST selects TIC TOK brand as one of 3 “UP-AND-COMING PRODUCERS” from Australia.
Steve Thurlow predicts that as the powerhouse Australian wine category reinvents itself "we'll see more wines from grapes that are more terroir-specific. And expect less acidification, less manipulation from wine-makers and more reliance on good grapes from distinct vineyards. Additionally, we will see more wines from cooler, relatively new regions like Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, Tasmania and Frankland River.... Consumers are now asking for more diversity, regionality and character ...."
5 Star Winery.
In the 2011 edition of his Australian Wine Companion, James Halliday rated Robert Oatley Vineyards a prestigious five out of a possible five stars, with the observation: “Outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality.” Halliday named Robert Oatley Vineyards as one of the best wineries in Australia.
Since 1976, “Australia’s leading wine writer” has written and co-authored over 40 books on the subject of wine, including contributions to The Oxford Companion to Wine. He has published an annual overview of Australian wine since 1986, and has won numerous awards for his work including being made a member of the Order of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 for “service to the wine industry as a winemaker, show judge, author and promoter of Australian wine internationally, and through senior roles with a range of professional organisations.”
Robert “Bob” Oatley has built a diverse family business that ranges from vineyards and winemaking to luxury tourism on Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef. A decade after their success with Rosemount Estate, the Oatley family are leading a second Australian wine renaissance from their vineyards in Mudgee, New South Wales.
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2011
Robert Oatley wines - Perfectly positioned for the times.
Oatley returns to US. Does the world need another Australian wine? Maybe not, but Robert Oatley thinks America does… from retailers that consumers are buying as much wine as they did before the financial downturn, yet trading down in price, Oatley’s wines are perfectly positioned for the times. They are bright, refreshing, varietally correct, and deliver more interest than their prices would suggest. All are under screwcap.
Linda Murphy, JancisRobinson.com, January 2, 2009, USA
Value Brands of the Year.
A New Brand from Robert Oatley, the man behind Rosemount. Top 3 Australian Value Brands.
Wine & Spirits Magazine Reviewed by Josh Greene, April 2009
New Aussie Wines from Old Dogs.
The style strikes me as especially refreshing. These have some backbone to them, some real acid zip to balance the juicy, clear fruit flavours. I liked them all.
Wine Spectator By Harvey Steiman, November 2008, USA
Wines to watch, collect and drink over a good meal.
There's every reason to expect the Robert Oatley brands to make some serious waves in Australian wine circles over the coming years and to raise the profile of Mudgee as a fine-wine growing region. It will be exciting to watch: perhaps nearly as exciting as the race for line honours for this year's Sydney to Hobart.
The Cove Magazine Tony Harper, May 2009, Australia