Archive for April, 2010

James Halliday 100 – Charles Melton Rose

Thought I’d have a look at James Halliday Top 100 Wines (put out in November last year) and see what we could get in Singapore.

First wine off the rack is:

2009 / Charles Melton / Rose of Virginia / Barossa Valley / Rose

Halliday rates this wine at 96 points so in his opinion, a true 5 star wine. Definitely drink now. If you like a bit of variety and don’t mind the occasional rose, then this one looks the goods. Tracked it down to Crystal Wines where they have it listed for S$40.85 versus RRP in Australia of A$23. That would normally put it way past my PPT (price pain threshold) but I guess we’ve got used to paying in the $40 range for a lot of things. If you can find it elsewhere cheaper, let me know, but in the meantime we’ve bought 6 bottles to quaff on those warmer nights when a red is a bit too much.


What is Bastard Box?

Bastard Box is a trademark registered wine from the Upper Goulburn wine growing area in Victoria, Australia. It’s about 2 hours NE of Melbourne and about an hour further on from the Yarra Valley.

The name Bastard Box came about because the trees growing on the property were referred to by the early settlers as just that – bastard box, box being a common name for a type of gum tree. The settlers said the wood was “a bastard to burn” (true) and “a bastard to work with”. The name also happens to fit nicely with my nickname “Box” and well….the rest is history.

Like all great wineries, we’ve started with a label and a name. No wine, just a label and a name. Oh, did I mention we only have 120 vines. Well, last time I looked we had 120, but the wombats might have got to some in the meantime. I’ll keep you posted on our progress towards our first vintage.

Whilst we’re waiting for the vines to bear fruit, I’m using this blog to help people who live in Singapore (like us) make better choices when buying Australian or New Zealand wine in Singapore. “Sticker shock” is an understatement when first venturing into wine stores in Singapore, but with research and help, you CAN buy decent down under wines in Singapore at a decent price. You just have to do your homework.

And that’s where BastardBoxWine comes in.

On a purely random basis, I have a look at what’s being offered and sort out the wheat from the chaff. I’m 100% independent (well, I do rely on my wife to throw some cash my way from time to time), meaning no affiliations with any of the distributors or retailers. The ratings I quote come from reputable sources (James Halliday, Jeremy Oliver etc) so the opinions are not mine, but the data base is.

Best of all, it’s free.

So, if you’re tired of wandering into that Singapore supermarket and paying $30 for a wine that sells at Dan Murphys in Australia for less than $10, tune in to BastardBoxWines on a regular basis and see how you can buy decent wines at a reasonable price, and hopefully lift the quality of your drinking without breaking the bank.


Bastard Box

Viognier in Singapore

2nd April 2010-04-02

A friends birthday coming up and I know that she prefers white wine, and has a soft spot for Yarra Yering Viognier at $126 a bottle. Well she’s a good friend but not at $126 for a “between big years” birthday, so what to get that’s a top drop and available in Singapore?

My first port of call (of course) was my data base and I turned up the following top notch Australian viogniers:

Baillieu Myer 2005 Elgee Park Family Reserve Mornington Peninsula Viognier 38 GTW 5 7/08
By Farr 2005 Geelong Viognier 50 GTW 5 7/08
Heggies Vineyard 2005 Eden Valley Viognier <29 JO 5 2008

Tallis 2006 Dookie Hills Central Victoria Viognier 18 Winestate 5 4/08
Yalumba 2006 The Virgilius Barossa Valley Viognier 44 Epicure 5 2/08
Yalumba 2006 The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier TBA Epicure 5 12/08
Yalumba 2004 The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier 45 GTW 5
Yalumba 2008 The Virgilius Eden Valley Viognier 50 96 JH 5 11/09 2010 2011

I thought I could probably discount the Bailleu Myer in Singapore and stand more hope with Yalumba or By Farr so I headed off in that direction, but without any luck. Hmmm. Let’s see if the Kiwis have anything to offer.


Clayridge 2008 Marlborough Viognier NZD 26 95 GTW 5 5/09 2009 2013
Clos de Ste Anne 2006 Les Arbres Gisborne Viognier NZD 53 Winestate 5 4/08
Millton 2007 Riverpoint Vineyard Gisborne Viognier NZD 29 Winestate 5 8/08
Staete Landt 2007 Marlborough Viognier NZD 36 GTW 5 11/08
Trinity Hill 2006 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Viognier 29 Winestate 5 12/08
Trinity Hill 2007 375ml Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Noble Viognier 29 Winestate 5 12/08
Trinity Hill 2006 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Viognier NZD 30 Winestate 5 4/07
Trinity Hill 2006 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Viognier NZD 30 Winestate 5
TW Estate 2007 Gisborne Viognier NZD 22 Winestate 5 8/08
Villa Maria 2007 Single Vineyard Omahu Gravels Hawkes Bay Viognier 39 Winestate 5 12/08

Bugger! Bombed out again. Couldn’t fine any of these available in Singapore. Some of the brands yes, but viognier, no. Looks like I’ll have to try and convince her to have something other than viognier. Stay tuned.

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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907