Archive for June, 2013

Nothing over $50! And a 96 pointer in there too.

Isn’t it always the way? You’re coming out of the newsagent which shares its entry with the adult bookshop upstairs when you bump into your boss from the office. Today, I was killing time browsing in one of those giant supermarket liquor sections when who should see me but a fellow Table member. I guess I could have asked what was HE doing there?

I haven’t been in a supermarket’s in-house wine section for a long time, and yet, this is the sight that greets most expats when they first arrive in Singapore. No wonder they despair. I’ve always said that buying Australian (and New Zealand) wine in Singapore doesn’t have to be a nightmare – you just need to know where to look, and you need to do your homework, or let others like Bastard Box,  do it for you.

So, here’s the homework done for today.

2011 / Tin Shed / Eden Valley / Rose / $38.50 at Essential Fine Wines – I don’t have a rating on it, so I’m going to assume it’s OK. Retails at around A$16 so the pricing here isn’t too bad but left way out in the cold by today’s other choices. BBI ♥♥♥

2011 / Old Plains / Longhop /  Adelaide Plains / Shiraz / $36.50 at Essential Fine Wines – Wine Advocate gives it 88+ so that translates to “very good” and it’ll be drinking for a few more years yet. Looks like it retails around the A$13 mark so pricing here is OK. BBI ♥♥♥

2011 / Yellow Tail / Riverina / Pinot Grigio / $24.99 at NTUC Fairprice – No. I’ve never had this wine so I’ll have to rely on the opinion of others. James Halliday gives it 87 pts which puts it into the “recommended, fault free” category,. A quaffer, then. Retails downunder at about A$6 – A$7 so you know where it’s pitched.  If you must. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2011 / Yellow Tail / Riverina / Semillon Sauvignon Blanc / $24.99 at NTUC Fairprice – This one gets a Wine Front rating of 87 (“happy with it”) and a year to drink it by. Retails a tad under A$8 so….BBI ♥♥♥♥

2011 / Yellow Tail / Riverina / Shiraz / $24.99 at NTUC Fairprice – A quaffer. Under A$8 downunder. If it rings your bell…..BBI ♥♥♥♥

2006 / Norfolk Rise / Dai Gum San / Limestone Coast / Shiraz / $29.55 at Le Vigne, cash & carry – Gets a “recommended” from Halliday, drinking for another year, and great pricing. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2009 / West Cape Howe / Zeepard / Mount Barker / Shiraz / $24.20 at Le Vigne, cash & carry – 88 pts from Wine Advocate at under $25 bucks? Yep, you heard it right. Still drinking for a couple of years so get into it. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2010 / Rockburn / Central Otago / Pinot Gris / $29 at Wine Exchange Asia – Had to stop myself from typing Pinot Noir after typing Central Otago. But no, it’s a Pinot Gris. Bob Campbell gives t 85 points as calls it a “rich, robust wine”. Retails for about NZD25, so pricing here is very good. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2009 / Plan B! / Frankland River / Shiraz / $32.30 at Le Vigne, cash & carry – Into the 90’s pointswise now and drinking a bit longer too, out to 2020. A good all-round shiraz that retails at about A$20. Nice pricing here make it….BBI ♥♥♥♥

2010 / Robert Oatley / Finisterre / Margaret River / Chardonnay / $48 ea or $40 by the half case at Wine Exchange Asia – Now we’re talking. Halliday 96.  Will go to 2020+ and retails in Australia at A$38. This is a great deal. Frankly, I’d rather have one bottle of this at $48 than 2 bottles of well., you know what. BBI ♥♥♥♥♥

2005 / Clarendon Hills / Old Vines / McLaren Vale / Grenache / $50 at Wine Exchange Asia – Those “in the know” like this wine. Halliday 95 and Wine Advocate 92. Still plenty of years left in it. A$75 on release. Go figure. BBI ♥♥♥♥♥





No situation can possibly be better [for winegrowing] than the slopes of the hills enclosing the Adelaide plain”. – Henry Watson writing in The Register, October 1840


Country Club Semillon Riesling aged in oak

Reviewed four wines today from Wine Exchange Asia and Underground Wines

2011 / Forrest / Marlborough / Pinot Noir / $38.50 at Underground Wines – Haven’t seen a rating for the 2011 but if it’s on par with the most recent vintages, (risky assumption I know) then it’ll be around the 85 pt Bob Campbell, 3.5 star Michael Cooper mark making it still pretty good. Looks like a RRP around NZ$30 so on that basis, good pricing – BBI ♥♥♥

2006 / Massena / The 11th Hour / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / $55 ea or $49 by the half case at Wine Exchange Asia – A wine by Dan Standish which means a rating from Wine Advocate. Yep, 94 pts and drinking to2024. Retailed around A$35, good pricing again so…BBI ♥♥♥♥

2004 / Wild Duck Creek / Springflat / Heathcote / Shiraz / $55 ea or $49 by the half case at Wine Exchange Asia – Do you believe in the inevitability of inflation? Apparently the team at Wine Exchange Asia don’t as this wine was listed at this same price back in 2011. It was a good deal then and it’s a good deal now. Halliday 92, drinking to 2024 and a lip-smacking 15% alc. (if that’s your thing). BBI ♥♥♥♥

2004 / Kalleske / Greenock / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / $55 ea or $49 by the half case at Wine Exchange Asia – Another biggy at 15% alc. Well, it is Barossa Valley and Greenock at that. 94 pts from Halliday and drinking to 2019 so right in its window. The best value/quality combo here today but only by a whisker. BBI ♥♥♥♥



1979 Country Club2

It says Semillon Riesling which in those days means it might have been neither Semillon nor Riesling. Still, the oak carton is nice touch – the fake finish is about as close to real oak as some of the stuff that goes into today’s cheaper wines.


“…’s horrible – horrible – going to a cellar door unless you’re a wine wanker. I say this as someone who is a wine wanker himself, so I’m not having a go at wine wankers, I’m just saying that there is a hell of a lot of talk of wine tourism, but almost all of it is geared at the wine wanker, and that alienates about 95 per cent of the market.” – Phil Sexton from Giant Steps speaking in Gourmet Traveller Wine, July 2007


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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