Wines from Coonawarra and Barossa Valley of course, but a couple from Kangaroo Island and Tasmania for a change.

Ah, that old Singapore bugbear again. I just ordered some 2007 GSM and was delivered 2008 without being asked about the change. That’s the surest way I know to lose serious customers.  My advice to subscribers is the same as in my post of April 28th. If you order one vintage but get a different one, unless you’re completely happy with the substitute vintage, send it back.

Moving on.

You’ll have to be quick to get this one. Maybe even by the time you’re read this it’ll be gone, but you can always try. It’s at Wine Exchange Asia. (www.wineexchangeasia.com)

2006 / Wynn’s / Black Label / Coonawarra / Cabernet Sauvignon / S$45 – Now here’s a stalwart. Every time I’ve been where a bottle of this is opened, especially a bottle with some age on it, everyone shakes their head and says “I can’t believe how good this is for the money”.  So how many ratings do you want? Gourmet Traveller Wine, The Big Red Wine Book, Jeremy Oliver all give it 4.5 stars, and Halliday puts it into the 5 star category. There is difference of opinion on its ageing potential though. Halliday suggests drink by 2016, The Big Red Wine Book by 2019, but Oliver suggest you don’t start until 2018 and then drink it through to 2026. Best get yourself a case, spread your drinking out, and debate the accuracy of the raters over a glass with friends. RRP is A$32 and the BBI is S$45.04. Spot on buying then at S$45. Don’t muck around.

Here’s an interesting selection from Epsilon Wine Resources (www.ewines.com.sg ). With some of these older wines, it becomes a little harder to compare prices unless they are on sale elsewhere in Singapore, as often they are out of stock in Australia. I’ll do my best but please don’t shoot the messenger if they’re a little out!

2001 / Grant Burge / Meshach / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$96 – The Meshach range should need no explanation so it’s really a case of the year, the cellaring window, and whether you can readily get it here. The 2001 Meshach was (apparently – I don’t have that recorded) rated 95 points by James Halliday but Oliver only gave it 88 points and suggested drinking by 2013. I do know that’s it’s pretty much unavailable in Australia except at auction and the pricing looks about A$85. The normal BBI doesn’t apply either as there’s no way that you’re going to pick this up wholesale in Australia.  The pricing looks about right to me.

2003 / Grant Burge / Meshach / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$88 – You can still get this in Australia on-line at A$99 and both Halliday and Oliver liked it (90 and 93 points respectively) so it looks the better buy here, with drinking to around 2015 to 2018. 14.5% alc. Pricing looks good compared to the on-line Australia price.

2004 / Cape d’Estaing / Premium / Kangaroo Island / Shiraz / S$45 – OK, I’ve got a confession to make. Even though I grew up in Adelaide, I’ve never been to Kangaroo Island. There’s not a lot of wine that comes from there either, although it is on the rise. Trying to get a rating on this wine proved well nigh impossible but eventually my Robert Parker guide proved its worth and I found it rated at 92 points, drinking 2013 to 2024. I don’t have a retail price on it so I can’t tell you whether S$45 is a good buy or not, but I’ve decided to get some myself anyway, just to try something a bit different. I figure at S$45 and Parker 92, you can’t go too far wrong.

2004 / Stoney Vineyard / Reserve / Tasmania / Pinot Noir / S$42 – Here’s another wine that was dastardly difficult to get a rating on, but for a different reason. You see, there’s Stoney Vineyard in Tasmania and Stoney Rise in Tasmania. Confused? You should be. Turns out that the best place to look for Stoney Vineyard is under Domaine A, the producer where it’s often listed. So, whether it’s Domaine A Stoney Vineyard or just Stoney Vineyard, Halliday gave it 92 points with drinking to 2013.  The RRP was about A$40 but I say “was” because it’s now listed as out of stock down under. Pricing is keen, and I’ve got some of this to try as well. 13.5% alc.

“…although the general run of the English-speaking people rather despise wine-drinking as something effeminate and strange, the top wine-drinking section has elevated it to a matter of aristocratic habit” – O. Mendelsohn, The Earnest Drinker’s Digest, 1945

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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