Archive for May, 2014

Penfolds Grange at $200 off!

The June issue of Decanter carries a regional profile on Tasmania so naturally piqued my interest. The article is by Huon Hooke, and he lists his top ten from Tassie. Five of them come from what I would call mainstream producers (nothing wrong with that) such as Clover Hill, Jansz, Heemskerk, Bay of Fires etc, but four are from “my” wineries. They are:

Dawson & James Chardonnay 201118.5 (95) – I’ve got the 2010 in Singapore and am just about to kick over to the 2011. S$64.

Domaine A Lady A Fume Blanc 201018.25 (94) – I’ve got 28 bottles in Melbourne waiting to come up. S$80.

Home Hill Kelly’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 19 (96) – You had to be quick on this one. I managed to get 3 cases out of 100 made, and customers were almost waiting at the airport to collect their allocation. It’s all gone, there ain’t no more (although the gold medal winning 2011 is still coming…). Was S$77.

Freycinet Vineyards Pinot Noir 201218.5 (95) – I keep bringing this in and it keeps selling out. Just 8 bottles left in Melbourne with another 24 on their way from the winery. Don’t miss out! S$79.

Usual story, email me at if you’re interested in trying some of Tassie’s best.


Incredibly busy at the moment so sticking with the retailers who make it easy.

2012 / Vinaceous / Divine Light / Margaret River / Sauvignon Blanc / $28.80 cash & carry at Le Vigne – Huon Hooke says “it’s soft and very drinkable” and puts it in his bronze medal range. RRP of A$21 making it attractive here at a shade under $29. Drink now though, don’t hang about. BBI♥♥♥♥

2009 / Penfolds / Grange / South Australia / Shiraz / $699 at Wine Exchange Asia – Does a rating really matter for this icon? For what it’s worth, Campbell Mattinson says 95 and drinking 2019 to 2034 so one of the earlier, more approachable Granges. RRP of A$785 which translates to S$900 on straight exchange rate. So how come it’s so cheap here? Well, there’s probably about A$180 of taxes (WET about A$110, GST about A$70) in that Australian price which comes off on export. Us lucky punters in Singapore only add back 7% GST and about $10 alcohol tax. So, if you’re buying in this league, the Singapore alcohol tax is looking pretty damn cheap, right? Yes sir! You’re going to see this wine listed in Singapore a lot, lot higher than the $699 shown here (possibly closer to $900+) but you might also see it a bit cheaper. Trouble is, do you want to hang on for that chance and miss out altogether? It’s a good deal and you’ll be the envy of your mates downunder. BBI♥♥♥♥

2013 / Spy Valley / Envoy / Marlborough / Gewurtztraminer / $45 at Wine Exchange Asia – I couldn’t find my own rating source so I’ve relied on Wine Exchange Asia’s note that it’s 18.5 from Raymond Chan. That certainly looks consistent. RRP of NZ$30 making the pricing here quite good. I’m giving it 4.5 stars – BBI♥♥♥♥

2013 / Spy Valley / Estate / Marlborough / Gewurtztraminer / $38 at Wine Exchange Asia – Little brother to the Envoy? I don’t know but it does sell a bit cheaper at NZ$23 so maybe that’s a clue. Line ball on value/quality by my calcs. Gourmet Traveller Wine 92, so another 4.5 stars – BBI♥♥♥♥

2012 / Dog Point / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / $38 at Wine Exchange Asia – I had the 2011 last night expecting it to be heading over the hill, but far from it – it’s got a second wind and is still drinking fine. This 2012 vintage gets 93 from Bob Campbell so not shabby. RRP of NZ$25, a great all-rounder. BBI♥♥♥♥



[Dinner begins] with rich soup, and a glass of sherry; then one or two side dishes with champagne; then some beef, mutton, or fowls and bacon, with more champagne, or beer; then rice and curry and ham; afterwards game; then pudding, pastry, jelly, custard, or blancmange, and more champagne; then cheese and salad, and bread and butter, and a glass of port wine; then in many cases, oranges, figs, raisins, and walnuts with two or three glasses of claret or some other wine….[Breakfast is] a mutton chop, fresh eggs, curry and bread-and butter, with coffee or tea, or claret and water.”

From “Shanghai Hygiene; Or, Hints for the Preservation of Health in China” by James Henderson, 1863, as quoted in The Opium War by Julia Lovell., 2011.

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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