Posts Tagged 'koonunga hill'

Ah, the tax…

The news is a little old but I see that the 2012 Mayer Yarra Valley Syrah was listed in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 20 Wines, calling it ‘the coolest, most perfumed and elegant shiraz in my Top 20”. Yes, of course I have some! And it’s in stock so there’s no price increase from the tax changes. $63 to you by contacting me at tigerwines@singnet.com.sg

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And now, the tax. Yes well I’m guessing you all know by now that the alcohol tax went up from $70 a litre of alcohol to $88 a litre.  The tax is applied before GST, so after the GST on the tax kicks in, it changes the cost on a 14% alc. bottle from $7.86 to $9.89, or roughly $2 a bottle. No retailer in his right mind sells at cost so that $2 is going to get marked up too. Expect price rises closer to $3 a bottle or more.

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It’s a bit of a minefield making comparisons across deals at the moment as many deals only apply until stock runs out and they may have run out by now. Until things settle down, this is the best I can do…

? / Penfolds / Koonunga Hill / South Eastern Australia / Shiraz / $29.90 at Cellarbrations – No vintage quoted in the advert, and no vintage quoted in the shopping cart equals no respect from me. Let’s assume it’s the 2012 in which case Campbell Mattinson gives it 84 points calling it “a quaffing bistro red”.  In today’s market, the pricing’s not too bad but it’s that rating that lets it down. Remember, the alcohol tax doesn’t affect anything that was in stock before the announcement so I reckon you’ll do better than this for a little while yet. A$13-ish downunder. BBI ♥♥

? / Cloudy Bay / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / $49 at Cellarbrations – Ya’ feelin’ lucky? It really is an unnecessary lucky dip when you don’t know the vintage. Would you be happy with 2011 Cloudy Bay? What about 2012? Jancis Robinson reckons they both should have been drunk by now. Quality-wise you don’t have to worry too much about variation across Cloudy Bay vintages but that’s not the issue. The pricing’s quite reasonable given the NZ$30 RRP. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2007 / Mollydooker / Carnival of Love / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / $120 at Wine Exchange Asia – If you love this style of big shiraz (16% alcohol) then you’re on a winner. You’re in good company with Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate who give it 96 points. I don’t love this big style so I’m in company with Huon Hooke who gives it 86. One man’s meat…etc. So, what of the $120 asking price? It looks a tad high compared to its original release price of US$80 but the real test is what is it selling for now. Last Langton’s auction price (2013) was A$104 so looks about right to me. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2013 / Sacred Hill / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / $30.50 cash & carry at Le Vigne – Lovely to see the vintage quoted, especially on Sauvignon Blanc which is so susceptible to quick ageing.  With a RRP of NZ$23, this is great buying. Raymond Chan gives it 17.5/20 so I’m giving it BBI ♥♥♥♥

2005 / Troll Creek / Barossa Valley / Shiraz /  $39 at Wine Exchange Asia – You might have to get used to seeing a lot more wines at $39, so in context, I reckon this looks like a great deal, price-wise. A bit of an opinion divider, as Halliday gives it 88 (“too acidic”) and Wine Advocate, whilst not rating the 2005, give the 2004 and 2006 comfortably into the 90s. It initially retailed for US$70 but it’s not got a great following so the last Langton’s price for a 2006 was A$40. I reckon it’s worth a punt. BBI ♥♥♥♥

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THE WAY WE WERE – 1990

Typical Australian irreverence from the 90s.

 

1990 Wilson's 2

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“There’s an advertising agency in Toronto who I bet are laughing at the rip-off they got over Kelvin the Koala. Gee, they must be in bloody hysterics! ‘Half a million in your pocket? Great, we can do you a beaut one! ‘And of course, what everybody forgot was by putting this French-speaking koala on the market was that they immediately alienated all the English-speaking Canadians who thought that they had a strong bond with Australia through the old Commonwealth. And I mean that’s just a fundamental marketing mistake. If they cant’s see such elementary mistakes, who knows what happens when they get down to the fine print with dealing with these Americans who are so bloody sharp that they’ll eat you before breakfast. In fact, that’s probably when they got this bastard, before breakfast, and tied him up then. You know, while he was still half asleep. They’ve all had a jog and a shower and a Jacuzzi and a screw and they’re into the office at 7:30 in the morning, bouncing and raring to go. You know me, and any pom I know, we stagger in and say ‘I need a glass of bloody champagne.’ And you know, these Americans: ‘While you’re signing the documents we’ll open the Deutz, Sir.” – Tony Lord, then editor of Decanter speaking with Winestate, August 1982

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Airport duty free – be afraid, be very afraid

I’m betting that whenever you’ve looked at Australian or New Zealand wine at an airport duty free shop, you’ve wondered whether it was such a good deal. But in that last minute rush, you buy something – it can’t be that far out can it?

I’m in Australia at the moment so I’ll be checking what’s on offer at the airport on my way back, but I can tell you this about buying at Changi on the way down (and I honestly don’t know the name of the duty free store).

2007 / Penfolds / Koonunga Hill / Seventy Six / shiraz cabernet on the shelf “duty free” at S$39 a bottle.

Hang on a minute? Isn’t that exactly the same wine that I just bought retail from Wine Exchange in Singapore at S$32 (OK, S$34 for a single bottle). Yep, sure is. So not only is the “duty free” price at least S$5 higher than what I can buy it for retail, it doesn’t include duty of S$7 a bottle that my retail purchase does.

Unless my maths is screwed up (highly likely!) then that makes the “duty free” price S$12 out of whack. In a S$34 bottle. Ouch!

Penfolds – Nice wine, pity about the price, and then…..Nice wine, good price

I rarely wander into a wine shop and buy off the shelf. I usually know what I’m looking for and I’ve got a fair idea of the price. There are exceptions – I will take advice from people I trust and they know who they are because I buy from them.

But, to be fair, I thought I’d throw my prejudices to the wind and start having a look around at wine shopping in Singapore in general. What better place to start than Cold Storage. Now I’m not a regular shopper for wine at Cold Storage, but from time to time, something pops up that shouts “buy me”. So, to the test…

I picked the first two wines on the shelf, and the brand is Penfolds.

Now Penfolds produce some outstanding wines (Grange for example) but there’s a lot of, how should we say it, bbq wine at the other end (but not at my bbq). The two wines I’m looking at here are Bin 389, often called the poor man’s Grange, and Bin 128, certainly in the mid to upper range of Penfolds line up.

Here’s the data:

2006 / Penfolds / Bin 389 / South Australia / Cabernet Shiraz / S$102 – The Australian raters love this wine, with Halliday giving it 96 points (5 star), and Epicure giving it 5 stars too. It’s one for the cellar though as Halliday suggests it’ll last until 2036 and Epicure to at least 2024. No good for my cellar then! Wine Spectator is less keen only giving it 4 stars, with a price of US$36. The retail price in Australia is A$55. Sorry, run that past me again. That’s right, A$55. Now, I can tweak A$55 every which way, add GST, add freight, add the duty, and no matter how much I tweak it, I can’t make it come anywhere near S$102.

2006 / Penfolds / Bin 128 / Coonawarra / Shiraz / S$70.05 – Halliday gives it 93 points (4.5 stars) and suggests drinking 2017-2027, so another keeper. Same old story on the price though. Retail price downunder is A$30, so who knows what’s going into the price to get it to S$70.

I haven’t given up on Cold Storage, but with these two in particular, I’ll leave you to be the judge.

BUT you can buy Penfolds at a decent price, a very decent price. Wine Exchange Asia has the following on offer, and if past experience is anything to go by, you’ll have to be quick. I’ve bought mine.

2007 / Penfolds / Koonunga Hill Seventy Six / Shiraz-Cabernet / S$35, S$32 by the case – Halliday rates this 94 (4.5 stars) drinking 2010-2020, and Oliver rates it 93 (still 4.5 stars) with drinking 2015 – 2019. On offer in Australia at A$20 so at S$35/S$32 it definitely falls acceptably inside my PPB (price pain barrier). Over to you.


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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

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