What the Australian Prime Minister was drinking 40 years ago

Reviewed 11 wines on offer by Absolute Blizzard Resources, Certain Cellars, Le Vigne, The Cellar Door, The Local Nose, Underground Wines, Wine Directions, Wine Exchange Asia – just 4 get a guernsey here today…maybe there’s too much effort on champagne right now.


2008 / Palliser Estate / Martinborough / Pinot Noir / S$44.90 at The Local Nose and The Cellar Door – Gets 89 points from each of Bob Campbell and Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perotti-Brown. That means “above average” and “very good” respectively.  Bob Campbell said it’s an “exuberantly tangy wine”. Wine Spectator said “very good” too. Should drink to 2015. RRP of NZ$52 so the pricing here is the best of today’s lot, very keen indeed.

2008 / Wither Hills / Marlborough / Pinot Noir / S$44.90 at The Local Nose and The Cellar Door – Bob Campbell says it is “sleek and supple” and put it into his “above average” category. Wine Spectator were less excited but still “solid, well made”, but they had it down as drink by 2010.  Retailed for NZ$35, I’d take a punt on it.

2008 / Vasse Felix / Margaret River / Cabernet Sauvignon / S$58 from Absolute Blizzard Resources – This is the highest rated wine here today, with James Halliday giving it 95 points (“outstanding”), Wine Front giving it 94 (“excellent”) and Wine Advocate giving it 93 (“outstanding”) so no doubting that it ticks the boxes for them. Consensus too on its cellaring which should be to around 2019. But with a RRP of A$38, the price here is OK but certainly not remarkable. It’s a good wine at a fairish price.

2009 / Vasse Felix / Margaret River / Cabernet Merlot / S$40 at Absolute Blizzard Resources – “Highly recommended” from James Halliday, “excellent” from Wine Front and both of those reviews done this year. A safe bet to 2018.  With RRP of A$25, the pricing here is acceptable just not mind-blowingly great.

So, only four to choose from today. Bastard Box’s first choice is the Palliser Estate Pinot Noir, followed by the Vasse Felix Cabernet Merlot. It’s not the greatest deal, but you’ll probably kick yourself in years to come if you pass up the Vasse Felix Cabernet. Just depends on whether you think the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, which if you’re right, you might start to see this wine discounted.



Wine & Spirits magazine out of the US has 2 Australian wines with 95 points+ in their October edition. They are:

2006 / Penfolds / Grange / South Australia / Shiraz at 96 points;

2005 / Tahbilk / 1860 Vines / Nagambie Lakes / Shiraz at 95 points

WINESPEAK 101 – How to waffle with the best of them. Today’s word – MEATY

“Smells meaty and chocolaty and has persistent, savoury flavours. Very masculine wine.”

“Savoury wine with meaty/Bonox aromas. Much the same on the palate.”

If you’ve been paying attention over the past year, you’ll know that savoury and shiraz go hand in hand, and so it is here with meaty. Think savoury meat, think shiraz?


THE WAY WE WERE – 40 years ago at The White House

Well, the advertisement is from 1978, but the menu is from 1971.


“Cabernet, the exquisite paradox. Sauvignon. The very name harks of redemption, except that it derives from ‘sauvage’. Paradox indeed!” – Cabernet. Notes of an Australian Wineman by Max Lake, 1977




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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