The perfect sundowner – Turkey Flat Rose

Reviewed wines on offer by Artisan Cellars, Crystal Wines, Equatorial Wines, Le Vigne, The Local Nose, Wine Exchange Asia


I see the Aussie dollar was 1.34 earlier in the week. Makes buying in Singapore more challenging. Just for the record, the BBI (Bastard Box Index) of fair comparative value is updated with the current exchange rate weekly to ensure that rate creep doesn’t distort comparisons.


2010 / Hamilton Russell / Southern Right / Walker Bay / Sauvignon Blanc / S$32 at Wine Exchange Asia – You’ve heard me talk about Walker Bay before so I don’t have to tell you it’s in South Africa. Platters give this wine 4.5 stars which equates to their “outstanding” category. I have absolutely no idea as to whether this is a good comparative deal, but at S$32, I figure you can’t go too far wrong.

2010 / Hay Shed Hill / Pitchfork / Margaret River / Semillon Sauvignon Blanc / S$37.50 at Equatorial Wines and The Local Nose – This gets a Halliday “highly recommended” rating of 90 points. Perfect for drinking this year but definitely not a keeper. It’s a comfortable 12.5% alc. and RRP is A$16.  The pricing here is OK.

2010 / Turkey Flat / Barossa Valley / Rose / S$33 or $30 by the case at Wine Exchange Asia – Wine Advocate puts this wine into its “very good” category whilst James Halliday puts it into his “outstanding” category at 95 points. I’m with James on this one. Drink it now or next year at the latest but do get some and drink it. It’s the perfect late afternoon, early evening tipple on the balcony or in the garden in Singapore. A proper sundowner, or as the wife says “is the sun over the yard arm yet?” RRP of A$23 so the pricing here, single bottle or case, is very good.

2009 / Hamilton Russel / Southern Right / Walker Bay / Pinotage / S$39 at Wine Exchange Asia – Another Platters 4.5 star “outstanding” wine. I’ve been drinking the occasional Hamilton Russell and I like the change from the norm. A couple in your cellar won’t hurt you.

2009 / Pyramid Valley / Calvert / Central Otago / Pinot Noir / S$85.60 at Artisan Cellars – Good to see some new brands appearing in Singapore. This wine is rated 93 by Bob Campbell (“excellent”) and retails at NZ$52. The BBI reckons that retail price should put it around the S$72 mark in Singapore, so again, it’s a case of if you want this, you’ll be prepared to pay for it.

2009 / Cullen / Diana Madeline / Margaret River / Cabernet Blend / S$147, S$139.65 for members at Crystal Wines – The Diana Madeline always rates consistently well and this vintage is no exception, achieving “outstanding” from Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator and “excellent” from Wine Front. Long legs, out to 2020-2025. Surprisingly for a red, only 12.5%. Retails for A$113 so the BBI would expect this to pitch at about S$123. It’s not, so you’ll need to make up your own mind.

2006 / Dai Gum San / Limestone Coast / Shiraz / S$27.90 at Le Vigne – There’s also a Pinot Grigio on special at the same price but I couldn’t find a rating on it. The folk at Le Vigne are not silly – this is the perfect wine to plonk on the table over Chinese New Year. It even looks like a Chinese wine but of course it isn’t. Firstly it comes from the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, and secondly, I’m betting it’s a whole lot better than most of the stuff that passes itself off as wine up north.  Well, I know it’s a whole lot better as Halliday puts it in “recommended, above average” category. Still a couple of years left to drink, and with a RRP of A$16, the price here is terrific value. A solid S$10 cheaper than the Hay Shed Hill which retails at the same price downunder. If you are chasing your own ratings, try looking under Norfolk Rise as well as Dai Gum San.

The stand out wine today from a BBI value point of view is the Turkey Flat Rose.  The Dai Gum San is a good deal too.  Leaving aside the Hamilton Russell that I don’t have enough data on, the others are fine wines but the value is just OK, not great.


WINESPEAK 101 – Waffle with the best of them. Today’s word – WHEAT

You wouldn’t think that wheat would be a word to be associated with wine, but it is. I was at a tasting just this week when the word popped up in describing an aged Semillon. Here’s how others have used it:

“This Semillon has begun to develop the kind of fusel notes that might bring Mad Max to mind. It’s fresh on the palate, where scents of wheat, lemon and lanolin take over and glide into a long finish.”

The wine is the 2006 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon as reviewed by my favourite read, Wine & Spirits magazine.

“A big unctuous white with warm flavours of wheat and golden grapes”, describing a Verdelho.

So, add wheat to your Winespeak vocabulary.



As far as I can tell, this is definitely the way we were, and no longer are. According to my research, the Kaiser Stuhl name quietly snuck away and died during the transition of assets from Fosters to Treasury Wine Estates last year. Let me know if I’m wrong but it looks to me like its gone for good. Someone’s grandmother somewhere will be pining.



Only in America…..?

In Oklahoma “counties with by-the-glass service cannot have BYO; in others, establishments can apply for a ‘bottle club’ license that allows patrons to buy a 72-hour membership for $3 or a yearlong one for $25. Members can bring wine, but each can only drink from his or her own bottle.” – Wine Spectator, April 2011, listing the rules of BYO across US states.



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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