A great start to the New Year and a great Tassie wine in Singapore

Reviewed  8 wines on offer by Artisan Cellars, Le Vigne, Peccavi Wines, The Local Nose, Underground Wines, Wine Directions. Comments on 6 today.


How better to kick 2012 away than with a sale.  The Straits Wine Company is closing their two Turf City outlets and their sale, starting today, promises “up to 80% off”. I don’t have a listing so I can’t comment on individual deals. If you know what you want and the usual price, then it looks like the place to be.

Here’s today’s reviews:

2011 / Stratum / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / S$21.50 at Undergound Wines – If your looking for this, try looking under Sherwood Stratum as that’s where you’ll sometimes find it. Wine Advocate says “86 – very good” and drinking to 2013. It retails in the US for US$10 but we’re not so lucky. Still, at S$21.50, with S$7ish of duty in there, it looks like a good buy.

2009 / Arlewood / Margaret River / Marsanne Rousanne / S$28 at Le Vigne – I reviewed this wine back in August 2011 when it was S$29 at Le Vigne. Here’s what I said – Gets a solid 89 rating from James Halliday who says “it will develop with time in the bottle”. Give it a try if you’re tired of the same old, same old sauvignon blanc/chardonnay routine. RRP of A$20 so terrific buying here. – It’s now S$28 and the comment’s still the same, except that I can add that Wine Advocate gives it 90 points (outstanding) and recommends drinking by 2013. A terrific buy.

2007 / Mahi / Rive / Marlborough / Pinot Noir / S$66.34 at Artisan Cellars – Mahi’s not a name I’m familiar with so good on Artisan Cellars for bringing us a bit of variety in the very established Kiwi Pinot Noir market. This one from Marlborough too.  Bob Campbell says “87 – above average”, Michael Cooper says “4.5 – excellent” and Wine Advocate says “90 – outstanding”. Well that’s not a bad start is it? Still drinking to 2016 according to Cooper. With a RRP of NZ$45, the price here spot on.

2006 / Trentham Estate / Mornington Peninsula / Pinot Noir / S$35 at Wine Directions – I recommended this wine back in May 2010 and you should have bought it then when it was offered at S$30. I recommended it again in April 2011 and here I am recommending it again in January 2012. Halliday 92, drink to 2013. It’s a great buy.

2007 / Peccavi / No Regrets / Margaret River / Cabernet Merlot / S$45 at Peccavi Wines and The Local Nose – Wine Advocate says “87 – very good”, James Halliday says “94 – outstanding”. Plenty of legs as it should keep drinking well to around 2018. 14.5% alcohol, and with an RRP of A$28, the pricing here is BBI perfect.

2002 / Henry’s Drive / Padthaway / Shiraz / S$52 at Le Vigne – I first looked at Wine Spectator’s rating on this wine and thought “uh-oh”. That’s because they reckon it should have been drunk by 2009. They gave it their “very good” rating. But looking further afield to Wine Advocate, they reckon its good to 2017 and gave it a solid 93 points (“outstanding”) so it’s a case of “who do you believe?”. I’ll go with Wine Advocate on this one. With a RRP of A$32, it’s no bargain at S$52 but it is fair value.

So the top three BBI picks for this blog are fairly easy. Number one off the rank is the Trentham Estate Pinot Noir, followed by the Arlewood Marsanne Rousanne and then the Stratum Sauvignon Blanc. They’re all fair deals here today but those three are the best by Bastard Box’s calculations.


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

“There’s expensive oak involved but that quickly yields to the kind of mineral-tinged pear and apple crispness that completely subsumes the wood.”

“Fragrant apple, pear and fresh wheat scents infuse the creaminess of this chardonnay.”

Both chardonnays, both bloody good ones. The first is 2008 Penfolds Yattarna and the second is 2008 Leeuwin Estate Art Series. The comments come from Wine & Spirits, October 2011. So, good chardonny. Apple it is.



During 2011, Tiger Wines introduced a range of Tasmanian wines into Singapore that had never been seen here before – Pressing Matters, Spring Vale, and Waterton. Now there’s Domaine A as the first new listing for 2012. Domaine A has been shipped to Singapore before but it quickly disappeared into investment holdings and was not generally offered at retail. Well, that’s changed as Tiger Wines has a good supply of Domaine A’s current range of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

On offer now is the 2005 Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon which despite the vintage, is the current release. Wine Advocate gives it 94 points (“outstanding”) and Langtons has promoted the Domaine A Cabernet Sauvignon from “Distinguished” to “Excellent”. This is from Domaine A’s latest newsletter:

This wine retails in Australia at A$70 (I saw it in Dan Murphys at that price last month) and here in Singapore it is offered at S$88 (incl gst)

2005 / Domaine A / Tasmania / Cabernet Sauvignon / S$88 at Tiger Wines

James Halliday 93 points (“highly recommended”), Jeremy Oliver 94 points (“gold medal”), Wine Advocate 94 points (“outstanding’”). Drinking to 2025.

Order from tigerwines@singnet.com.sg

Domaine A also makes Australia’s best Sauvignon Blanc, Lady A, and certainly its most expensive (A$60), but those in the know snapped up the stocks on arrival so it’s now completely sold out in Singapore.


Australians have got tunnel-vision. And this is where I – well, for a highly-placed person in an Australian wine corporation to say effectively, that the poms wouldn’t know a good bottle if it hit them over the head, is just the end. If they think it privately, keep it to themselves, but you don’t go saying it where it’s going to be quoted back to you in an influential trade publication. If the wombat’s doing these things, you bury him in a very large hole.” – Tony Lord, then editor of Decanter speaking with Winestate, August 1982



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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