Robert Osters Signature – Barossa Grape

Robert Osters Signature in an Australian ink brand, which is gaining its popularity among fountain pen users pretty quick. As a part of UK collaborative meta-review on United Inkdom blog, I received two samples of Robert Oster Signature inks; first called –  Direct Sun, which I reviewed recently and the second called Barossa Grape.

The beautiful range of colours offered by Robert Oster, reflects on colours of Australian landscape. I like that. It reminds me beautiful music made by famous Australian modern composers – Peter Sculthrope, who influenced his music by landscapes and sounds of Australia. 

‘Barrosa’ is the name of the famous Australian valley (north east from Adelaide) which is recognised as a major wine-producing region mainly known for its red wine, in particular Shiraz.

Is not surprising that Robert Oster Signature – Barossa Grape ink is purple/lilac. But there is much more than this in terms of colour. Wet, Barossa Grape is very intense and dark purple ink. It looks juicy. When slightly dissolved  it shows all these beautiful undertones hidden behind purple base. As you can see, there is a significant amount of light blue which definitely has an impact on the final colour. Obviously, there is also a hint of magenta/pink-red tones too. When it spreads across thin layer of water (used as a medium) all of these are clearly visible.

The combination of colours reminds me squashed blueberries. However, when it dries, colour is changing drastically. Is not that vivid any more. It feels flatter, but still all components are visible there. The colour of dry ink corresponds nicely to the colour of the grapes. Pretty good match.

Wet, it shows very interesting sheen, but unfortunately when it dries this sheen is almost none…well I can’t see it in the written samples.  With Barossa Grape ink, one have to be careful with which pen to choose. Wet, semiflexible nibs produces  very dark line, almost black, whereas with dryer nibs it may look too light and pale. This is quite important aspect, since Barossa Grape tends to show a decent amount of gradual shading which with  dark, oversaturated line (or with line being too light) shading may be easily missed. I got the best results with pen which has a decent flow (not too much) and  medium nib.

Similar inks I have which may fit to this tonal range are J. Herbin – Poussiere de Lune and recently reviewed Kaweco – Summer purple, but Barossa Grape seems too be darker, toned down, and more towards purple-black.

Robert Oster Signature – Barossa Grape has moderate wetness and it flows nicely. Again, with some pens having finer nibs it may feel an the dry side. With the Lamy Safari pen I used for testing it felt right and I had no issues with the flow. Moreover, there were no problems with feathering or bleeding through on decent quality paper types. It performs OK on copy paper too. Barossa Grape in not water resistant ink at all, but the like with Direct Sun,  is very easy to clean pens and maintain. There is no scent associated with this ink, which is always a good feature.

Barossa Grape comes with 50 ml bottles. It costs around $ 16.0 in US or £ 15.0, which is may feel to be a little expensive especially in Europe for some fountain pen users.  But is it a good ink? yes, definitely.

Robert Osters Signature inks are not widely available, however popular online fountain pen and stationary retailers have them already. For details please check the list of resellers on Robert Oster web page.

In the UK, Robert Osters Signature inks are available from who kindly shared with United Inkdom free sample of the ink  I got.  


(*) Disclaimer/ I have no affiliation with the all brands and companies mentioned above and this short review reflects only my personal views and findings about the product.






  • Carolyn

    Love the reference to Peter Sculthorpe!

    • clumsypenman

      Thank you Carolyn. Peter’s ‘Earth Cry’ is phenomenal. First time I met with Peter Sculthrope music was when I listened famous classical guitarist John Williams playing Djilile, which later I was learning to play on classical guitar as well. Lovely music, full of emotions.

  • Jack Linos

    Your ink reviews are superb!

    Furthermore, inks your review are almost always in no way related to swatches (if they exist) that a vendor has. Thanks again!
    Cheers ~Jack

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  • farmkiti

    Thanks for a great review. I have found many purple inks that change color tones when they dry. In many cases, they start out somewhat reddish only to dry more on the bluish side. I appreciate knowing that an ink will do this before I bother with a sample. I may still try it, but at least I have more of an idea what to expect.