A mixed bag of wines for the long weekend

From Epsilon Wines Resources (eWines), a couple of interesting brands.

2006 / Gravitas / Marlborough / Pinot Noir / S$40 – Michael Cooper gives it 90 points. RRP is about NZ$37 so pricing here is quite good.

2003 / Caledonia Australis / Gippsland / Chardonnay / S$40.25 – James Halliday gives it a solid 94 points, and suggests drinking by 2011. RRP of A$25 so pricing here is still within the BBI.

From The Cellar Door in VivoCity, some very familiar names.

2008 / Ata Rangi / Martinborough / Pinot Noir / S$69 – I’ve already raved about this wine when it first became available in Singapore through Wine Exchange Asia (still at the same price of S$69). In case you’ve forgotten, Decanter gave it 18.5 points, The Big Red Wine Book 96 points, Bob Campbell 96 points. For those people who say they don’t take any notice of ratings, I say “really?”. You are going to kick yourself if you don’t get some of this. I’ve seen it at A$80 retail although you can get it for A$60 on-line. I’ve got myself an ample supply given the current financial state of affairs and limited cellar space. If you only buy one decent pinot this year, make it this one. You won’t regret it. 13.5% alc and drinking 2012-2018. Had one at lunch today – delightful!

2008 / Ata Rangi / Craighall / Martinborough /Chardonnay / S$48 – Makes a change from Sauvignon Blanc. Bob Campbell gives it 93 points and it retails for about NZ$38 so the pricing here is right where the BBI would expect it to be.

And here’s a mob of Majellas from Wine Exchange Asia (www.wineexchangeasia.com). Usual caveats apply, i.e. check on the availability as stock moves fast here.

2009 / Majella / Coonawarra / Riesling / S$29.00 – James Halliday rates at 90 points, drinking now to 2018. RRP is A$16 so this price comes in slightly below the BBI so fair buying.

2005 / Majella / The Mallea / Coonawarra / Cabernet Shiraz / S$66 – A wide selection of ratings on this, most in agreement but one dissenter.  Let’s start with those who give it 5 stars – Wine Estate, Gourmet Traveller Wine (in 2008), and James Halliday (96 points). In 2009, Gourmet Traveller Wine gave it 4.5 stars. The dissenter is Jeremy Oliver who gives it only 86 points. You be your own judge. Recommended drinking ranges from 2013 (Oliver) to 2020 (Halliday). Alc 15%. Recommended retail is about A$66 making S$66 a good buy.

2005 / Majella / Coonawarra / Sparkling Shiraz / S$42 – Big fan of decent Australian sparkling shiraz (I did say decent) and have had this before so no qualms in recommending it. I’ve bought a couple of cases. Halliday rates at 93 points drink to 2014, and Epicure rated similarly at 4.5 stars. RRP is A$28 so pricing here is spot on with the BBI level.

2007 / Majella / Coonawarra / Cabernet / S$42 – Halliday liked it a lot giving it 96 points and Wine Estate gave it 5 stars too. It’s a keeper, with potential range out to 2022. A classic Coonawarra. It’s A$35 down under so pricing right in line with the BBI. 14.5% alc.

2008 / Majella / Coonawarra / Caberent / S$40 – Ditto for the 2008, only its S$2 cheaper! Wine Front gave it 94 points and suggest drinking to 2021 too.

2008 / Majella / The Musician / Coonawarra / Cabernet Shiraz / S$29 – Well, now we are talking about a range of opinions, trouble is, it’s the same rater with the different opinion! Halliday gives it 94 points, and Epicure gives it 4.5 stars. So far so good. Wine Estate gives it 3 stars, and then 4 stars. They’re allowed to change their mind I hear you say, but in the same issue of the same magazine? Go figure. Anyway, it’s 14.5% and selling at A$17-A$20 so pricing here is fine.

Off the shelf – wines picked at random in retail stores:

2008 / Elderton / Unoaked / Barossa Valley / Chardonnay / S$25 at Giant – With a RRP of A$13, pricing here is OK but rating is a bit ordinary. Wine Estate gives 3 stars.

“We like to say that Grange has one of the worst wine labels in the world. But we have no plans to change it.” Matt Lane, Penfolds Americas director of wine education.

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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