Sante, Sula, and Grover – can’t wait to get back

Fairly slim pickings at the end of this week, although we can always rely on our usual friends to throw out a few wines to tempt us. Let’s start with a couple of whites:

2009 / Dry River / Lovat / Martinborough / Gewurtztraminer / S$49 from Wine Exchange Asia – “Gewurtz” is popping up more and more, and why not. This one gets 4.5 stars from Michael Cooper, and can be drunk out to 2013. With a RRP of NZ$39, the pricing here at S$49 is spot on.

2008 / Dry River / Martinborough / Chardonnay / S$62 from Wine Exchange Asia – Not cheap are they, these Kiwi chardonnays? But this one at least gets a whacking 96 points from Gourmet Traveller Wine with suggested drinking out to 2016. With a RRP of NZ$52 (not cheap there either!) the BBI reckons it should come in at about S$64. Well, there you go. It’s at S$62 so definitely comparative value.

Now on to the reds:

2008 / Dry River / Martinborough / Pinot Noir / S$95 at Wine Exchange Asia – At RRP of NZ$82, it would want to be good, and it is. Bob Campbell and Michael Cooper give it 95 points and 5 stars respectively. Drinking out to 2017. The BBI reckons it should be S$95, and bingo! S$95 it is. Spot on pricing, so no gouging here.

2008 / Brick Kiln / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / S$34.50 by the case from Rubicon Reserve Wines – Just manages to get into the 4.5 star category with James Halliday who gives it 90 points. The Big Red Wine Book gives it 89 points so I’m not expecting an earth-shatterer but the pricing looks about right for a RRP A$18 wine.

2008 / Rolling / Central Ranges (NSW) / Shiraz / S$29.95 from Cold Storage – Yeh, yeh, I know. From Cold Storage. Well, there are some things that don’t change and that is that with the offer from Cold Stoarge (in today’s Today), you’re not told what the vintage is, or the specific wine. So….on the basis that what’s on offer includes the 2008 shiraz, I’m happy to recommend it because the 2008 shiraz gets 4.5 stars from Epicure and 88 points from The Big Red Wine Book. With a RRP of A$18, the pricing is fair indeed.

Whilst you’re contemplating the offers above, spare a thought for me (and the wife) over the next two weeks as we try and rustle up some decent wine to drink in the backblocks of India. It’s not going to be easy, but the sacrifice is worth it. We’re going back to Kerala and surrounds to repeat what we did same time last year, which is to drive ourselves (yes, we drive ourselves!) around the countryside in an Ambassador taxi. Before you laugh yourself silly at the sheer stupidity of it, let me just say that it’s the most fun you can legally have on a public road, period. You can understand why we’re hanging out for a drink at the end of the day though. Have a look at and book yourself in for next year. You’ll never regret it.

“We are part of an industry that thinks wine is a religion and consumers are there to be converted” – Andrew Caillard writing in Gourmet Traveller Wine, January 2008.

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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