There’s some serious value here – get in before the prices rise

Reviewed offers by Crystal Wines, Epsilon Wines, Eve Spirits, eWineAsia, Hermitage Wine, Rubicon Reserve Wines, Singapore Straits Wine, The Cellar Door, Underground Wines, Wine Culture & Wine Exchange Asia.

The luck of the reviews today just ended up with a swag of whites, a pink and a solitary red. Swings and roundabouts…..

2005 / Forrest / Bubbles for Brigid / Marlborough / Methode Champenoise / S$39.50 at Underground Wines – This is a wine I think you’d have to ask for in a whisper. I can’t imagine a burly Aussie going up to the counter and seriously asking for a bottle of “Bubbles for Brigid”. But, don’t let the name put you off. Winestate says “very good”, Michael Cooper says “excellent” and Bob Campbell says “very good, above average, but not great”. You’d want to drink it now, and at S$39.50 versus RRP NZ$29, it’s great value.

2007 / Fermoy Estate / Margaret River / Chardonnay / S$34 at Epsilon Wines – This is a terrific buy. Halliday 91 “highly recommended” with drinking out to 2015. It retails for A$28. Terrific value here.

2008 / Ata Rangi / Craighall / Martinborough / Chardonnay / S$49 at Wine Exchange Asia – Bob Campbell 93 “excellent, top quality”. RRP of NZ$38 so S$49 here is great value.

2008 / Bindi / Composition / Macedon Ranges / Chardonnay / S$62 at Hermitage Wines – Looks like the Ata Rangi and Fermoy Estate might give it a run for its money. Wine Spectator 91 “outstanding” but Jeremey Oliver 88 “top bronze”. It’s currently for sale at A$49 so the price of S$62 looks quite good. It’s just that the Ata Rangi is $13 a bottle less and the Fermoy Estate S$28 less. Drinking to around 2013ish.

2009 / Summerhouse / Marlborough / Gewurtztraminer / S$34 at Underground Wines – Hmmm. Yes well, the comparative value is there when you look at the RRP of NZ$27. It’s just that neither of the two main Kiwi raters get overly excited by it. Michael Cooper 3.5 (“very good”) and Bob Campbell 83 (“average to good”) that seems to justify its price.  Can I tempt you to the Mitchell Riesling for less money?

2009 / Mitchell / Watervale / Riesling / S$29.90 at The Cellar Door – 4.5 stars from Halliday (94 “outstanding”) and Oliver (92 “top silver”) and the potential for a long time in the cellar, 2020 perhaps. Retails for A$22 so S$29.90 is a steal.

2008 / Durvillea / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / S$25 at Rubicon Reserve Wines – Not the greatest of ratings on this wine, but look at the price. Michael Cooper “very good” and Bob Campbell “average to good”. The local price reflects the target market at NZ$15 so the price here is very, very good. You’d want to drink it now though.

2009 / Nepenthe / Tryst / Adelaide Hills / White / S$29.90 at Eve Spirits – This looks a pretty good deal until you compare it with the Mitchell Watervale Riesling. This one’s  “highly recommended” by Halliday but its retail price starts at A$15 but ends up the same as the Mitchell at S$29.90. Surely that’s reason enough to try the Riesling? If you’re not tempted by the Riesling , this deal is still pretty good. Drink by 2012.

2010 / Esk Valley / Hawkes Bay / Rose / S$35.50 at The Cellar Door – Michael Cooper reckons that Esk Valley makes the best rose in New Zealand. Not this specific vintage, but in general. Bob Campbell reckons this vintage is “above average” and with a RRP of NZ$24, the buying here is great value.

2008 / Tarras / Central Otago / Pinot Noir / S$53.50 at Hermitage Wines or S$42 at Wine Exchange Asia.  Not the greatest pinot to come out of Central Otago, but pretty solid all the same. Michael Cooper 4 (“excellent”) and Bob Campbell 84 (“good”), and drinking to 2016.  With a RRP of around NZ$33-34 the value is pretty much where the BBI would expect it to be if you buy from Hermitage Wines, but at S$42 at Wine Exchange Asia for the same wine, it’s great value…..that is if they’ve still got any.

My BBI value picks today are the Mitchell Riesling, followed closely by the Fermoy Estate Chardonnay.

Australian chardonnay competes favourably with burgundy (but you knew that anyway). See:

Life’s still too short to drink cheap wine……..

“Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less” –  A 2008 study by American Association of Wine Economists ‘Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?”




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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