Posts Tagged 'Seppelt'

Now we’re starting to motor – some real deals here, a cracker sparkling shiraz, and a Top Ten in the World for less than $40 bucks!

[Reviewed wines from Wine Exchange Asia, Crystal Wines, The Cellar Door, Epsilon Wines, The Local Nose, Le Vigne , Wine Culture, Top Wines, eWinesAsia,  Wine Directions, and Cold Storage.]

It wouldn’t be an Australian Xmas without sparkling shiraz. My all time favourite is still the 1985 Seppelt Show Reserve (I still have some for this year) but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth.  Trying to buy decent sparkling shiraz in Singapore (as distinct from red lolly-water) can be a challenge. Not impossible, just a little hard at times.

Well, your troubles are over! Bastard Box has sniffed out a terrific deal, just in time for Xmas. Have a look at this:

NV / Peter Rumball / SB18 / Coonawarra / Sparkling Shiraz / S$30 at Top Wines – Peter Rumball only makes sparkling reds, and for sheer consistency, they can’t be beat. If you’re from down-under, you probably know them already. Rarely rated, often enjoyed. No argument from me, I’ve ordered mine already. (Peter V, if only we’d known! – sorry mate) RRP of A$20 so the pricing’s right, but who cares! I can taste mine already.

Now to the rest:

2003 / Caledonia Australis / Gippsland / Chardonnay / S$49.50, or S$37 by the case at eWinesAsia. I only have one rating on this, and that’s Halliday at 94 points. I favourably reviewed it in an earlier blog when it was on sale at S$40.25. With a RRP of A$25, the single bottle price is a bit steep, but the case price is pretty good. Drinking to next year, 13.5% alc.

2008/ Cape Mentelle /Margaret River / Chardonnay / S$48 at Crystal Wines – Plaudits across the board – Halliday 96, Epicure 4.5, Gourmet Traveller Wine 96, Decanter 17. Drinking to about 2016, 2017. RRP of A$42 so S$48 is a good buy. 13% alc.

2009 / Pikes / Traditionale / Clare Valley / Riesling / S$29 at Wine Directions – Now here’s a real deal. Oliver 92, Halliday 94, and with a RRP of A$23, this is a great price. And you know how much I love Clare Valley Rieslings. S$29 for Pete’s sake! What are you waiting for? Drinking from about 2012- 2022, 12% alc.

2001 / Lake’s Folly / Hunter Valley / Cabernet / S$98

2002 / Lake’s Folly / Hunter Valley / Cabernet / S$94

2004 / Lake’s Folly / Hunter Valley / Cabernet / S$95

Each of these is available at Wine Culture – The 2001 is rated 96 by Jeremy Oliver and 94 by Wine Front and even though it’s the oldest, it’s the one that still has some legs. To 2014 according to Wine Front, to 2021 according to Oliver. The 2002 is rated 95 by Oliver, 93 by Halliday but definitely drink now. The 2004 is rated 92 by Oliver, 90 by Halliday, and also drink now, right now. No point in looking at the RRP which was around A$45-50 at the time of release. On-line in Australia, the 2001 is A$105, the 2002 A$85, and the 2004 A$70.  That makes the pricing here pretty attractive, but the 2001 is the pick of the bunch in price, rating and longevity.

1998 / Tahbilk / Reserve / Nagambie Lakes / Shiraz / S$73 at Epsilon Wines – Jeremy Oliver gives it the highest rating at 95 points, Wine Front at 94, Halliday at 90. Drinking out to 2020 if averaging the raters. Hard to price this one retail as it listed at A$70 but it’s been around a while. There’s at least one on-line price of A$54, so assuming there’s no WET to get back (it’s old stock) the pricing looks OK. It’d cost you about S$83 to buy it retail on-line in Australia and ship it up.

2003 / Penfolds / Grange / South Australia / Shiraz / S$379 at Wine Exchange Asia – There’s still time to urge that this should be in your stocking. I won’t bore with heaps of ratings, just one. Oliver 96 points, drinking 2023 to 2033. This vintage initially listed at A$550 but is now on-line at A$465. If you’re into Grange, the price here will make your mates down-under want to re-locate.

2007 / Flametree / Frankland River / Shiraz / S$48 at The Local Nose – Interesting this one. The 2008 is an absolute stunner, but the 2007, apparently not. Wine Front gave it 86 points (4 star), WineEstate gave it 3 stars (ouch!) but Halliday  gave it 90 points, bringing it into the 4.5 star range. The alcohol is high-ish at 15.5% but my real problem with this wine is the price. With a RRP of A$25, the price here of S$48 puts it a fair way outside the BBI. I’d say wait for the 2008, and wait for the price to come down.

2008 / Battle of Bosworth / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / S$39 at Crystal Wines – Who says raters don’t disagree? They sure do here. Jeremy Oliver gives this wine an unflattering 82 points (3.5 stars), James Halliday gives it 92 points (4.5 stars). If you believe Halliday, then this is a good buy. With a RRP of A$25, the price here of S$39 is absolutely spot on with the BBI. Drinking to about 2014, 14.5% alc.

2008 / Schild / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$40 or S$37 by the half case at Wine Exchange Asia – Same old, same old, you say. Wine Front 90 points, drinking to 2014, 14.5% alc. With a RRP of A$20, the single bottle price is OK, but the half case price is spot on with the BBI. Same old, same old, eh? Have a look at http://www.foodmag.com.au/news/south-australian-wine-listed-as-top-ten-in-the-wor

and see if you think it’s still ordinary!

2008 / Torzi Matthews / Frost Dodger / Eden Valley / Shiraz / S$45 at Wine Directions – A hard act to follow the Schild isn’t it? Sort of like Rubens Barrichello to Michael Schumacher. You might be good, but someone else keeps stealing your thunder. Well, this wine can stand on its own – 94 from Halliday, and 92 from Wine Front, drinking to roughly 2016, 14.5%alc. RRP of A$30 so S$45 is spot on the BBI.

“Australia has long been known as the world’s most important source of this wine [Riesling] after Germany, but great Australian Riesling no longer has to come from either Clare Valley or Eden Valley. Riesling lovers can choose from particularly fine wines made in places such as Tasmania, Great Southern and Henty.” – Jancis Robinson writing in Gourmet Traveller Wine,  January 2008

Advertisements

A Bastard Box personal favourite – Peter Rumball Sparkling Shiraz

There used to be a biscuit advert in Australia that went something like this:

If you couldn’t kick a ball, and you couldn’t hold a bat,
And you didn’t know where the Dog on the Tuckerbox was at
Then you wouldn’t be an Aussie
You wouldn’t be true blue
Unless Arnott’s biscuits meant something to you.

Well, another true Aussie icon is sparkling shiraz, and for the benefit of those from colder climes, we’re not talking here of “cold duck” but of proper bottle-fermented shiraz bubbly that can last and last. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we’re still drinking the 1985 Seppelt Show Reserve Sparkling Shiraz (called Sparkling Burgundy in those innocent days), and Jeremy Oliver has the 1998 Leasingham Classic Clare Sparkling Shiraz drinking to 2018+ and at 96 points to boot.

The vintage stuff aside, there are two consistently reliable sparkling shiraz that you would always find in my fridge in Australia, and they are Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz and Peter Rumball. I haven’t been able to find the Seppelt in Singapore at a decent price for a long time, but I have found the Peter Rumball, and it’s on special at Top Wines

Here’s the deal:

Top Wines at 33 Temberling Road, 423576 (near Joo Chiat Place) (www.topwines.com.sg) are having a “bubbly Saturday” on the 26th June where for a fee of S$33, you can try a range of sparklers – have a look at their website for more details – but the key thing is that by going along, and paying your S$33, you’ll get 33% off the price, including the Peter Rumball. So…….that brings the price of the Peter Rumball down to about S$37.55 which stacks up pretty damn well against a RRP of A$24. Buy a dozen, sample a few wines, amortise the S$33 and you’ll end up paying about S$40 bucks a bottle which is exactly where I would expect the BBI price to be.

Not unsurprisingly, I’ll be stocking my fridge with some.

If in doubt, talk with the winemaker, …..and some good deals on Ferngrove

Earlier this year, I bought some 2002 Ashton Hills Sparkling Shiraz for my cellar in Australia. I’m a big fan of aged sparkling shiraz and we’re still drinking 1985 Seppelt Show Reserve. Sure, the odd bottle is a little flat but the blackberries, oh, the blackberries.

I tracked down some Ashton Hills reds and whites in Singapore but they were a bit exxy, so I used the opportunity to ask the retailer when I might drink the 2002 sparkling shiraz. The answer I got was that all sparkling wine should be drunk early and that I shouldn’t hang on to the wine for much longer. Hmm, this just didn’t gell with the fact that the current release is 2002 so I decided to follow up with Ashton Hills direct. No website, so that meant a phone call. Of course, one of the benefits of picking up the phone is that you actually get to speak with a real person, and in this case it was the winemaker himself, Stephen George. His candid response to the advice I had received was “BS” and that the wine would cellar for at least another 10 years.

Denise’s GSS continued……some good buying here.

Don’t ask me why, but some wines just slip under my radar. I can’t remember when I last had a Ferngrove wine from Frankland River in Western Australia, if in fact I ever have. In reviewing Denise’s GSS sale offers, I realise that it’s time I mended my ways. Denise has a swag of Ferngrove on special and what I’ve listed below are all consistently and solidly under my BBI for comparative value.

2007 / Symbols / Shiraz Viognier / S$27.72 – Rated 90 points by Jeremy Oliver, drinking 2009-2012 RRP A$16

2007 / Symbols / Cabernet Merlot / S$26.90 – 90 points by Halliday, 89 points by Oliver, drink to 2012, RRP A$16

2007 / Chardonnay / S$29.36 – 90 points by Halliday, drink to 2012, RRP A$19

2008 / Sauvignon Blanc / S$29.36 – Another 90 pointer from Halliday, drink now, RRP A$19

2007 / Shiraz / S$30.18 – Winestate thought it average (4 stars) but Halliday gives it 4.5 (94 points), drinking 2012-2022 RRP A$19

2009 / Cossack / Riesling/ S$36.74 – Epicure gave it 4.5 stars and suggested drinking 2012-2018 with RRP A$23

2007 / Diamond / Chardonnay / S$38.38 – Oliver 90, Halliday 94, how can you go wrong? Drinking to 2013 RRP A$22

2007 / Dragon / Shiraz / S$40.84 – Oliver 92 points, drinking 2012-2015. RRP A$29

2007 / Majestic / Cabernet Sauvignon / S$40.84 – Oliver 93, Halliday 94. What’s stopping you? Drinking 2015-2019+.

2007 / King / Malbec / S$40.84 – Oliver 95! Halliday 94. They just keep getting better. RRP A$29

2005 / The Stirlings / Shiraz Cabernet / S$48.12 – Halliday 94, Gourmet Traveller Wine 4.5 stars drinking now to 2020, RRP A$50. Yes, that’s right A$50.

What a great selection. A bunch of 4-4.5 star wines for sub S$30 and nothing over S$50. Why pay S$21.50 for Little Penguin? On a BBI comparative basis, The Stirlings is the stand out value.

Who said you can’t buy wine well in Singapore? – The GSS sale from Denise/Straits Wine.

A real challenge to keep up with the specials coming through. Denise’s offer of 18% off across the range from now until 25th July includes some 40 wineries from Australia and New Zealand covering nearly 350 wines, so bear with me as I seek out the best deals amongst that lot. Denise/Straits Wine Co can tell you the details of the deal but essentially it’s their GSS sale (Great Singapore Sale) and it’s available across all stores except Turf City. Expect an update daily but if you’re interested in knowing about a wine that’s towards the end of the alphabet (I’m predictably starting at A), then just drop me a line at bastardbox35@gmail.com

I’ve already taken the 18% off, so let’s get started:

Bird in Hand / 2007 / Adelaide Hills / Merlot / S$35.92 – Rated 91 points by WineFront (being Gary Walsh & Campbell Mattinson) with drinking now to 2014. With a RRP of A$30, this is a great buy on comparative value, looking a solid S$8 cheaper than where I might have expected it to be.

Bird in Hand / 2007 / Nest Egg / Adelaide Hills / Shiraz / S$78.56 – Halliday rates this wine at 94 points with drinking 2010-2020, suggesting patience will be rewarded. With a RRP of A$75, this price is fair and square where I’d expect it to be.

Blue Pyrenees / 2002 / Midnight Cuvee / Pyrenees / Sparkling (chardonnay & pinot noir) / S$40.83 – No, that’s not a mistake on the vintage – it really is 2002 for this bubbly. I was buying the 2001 at NTUC Fairprice last year and it was a delightful wine. By the way, Pyrenees is in Victoria. Halliday rates this wine at 90 points and suggests you can hold it still further, out to 2014. With a RRP of A$30, the pricing in this sale makes it a good buy.

Blue Pyrenees / 2006 / Pyrenees / Cabernet Sauvignon / S$34.28 – Bit of a mixed opinion on this one. Winestate only gave it 3.5 stars whilst Jeremy Oliver gives it 90 points (4.5 stars). I’ll go with Jeremy on this one as Winestate only gave Seppelt St Peters 3 stars whilst everyone else is giving it 5! Value-wise, it’s right where I’d expect it to be from a RRP of A$18. It’s a keeper though as Oliver recommends drinking 2018-2026.

Blue Pyrenees / 2005 / Reserve / Pyrenees / Shiraz / S$45.76 – Another mixed bag of ratings. Winestate give it 4 stars, Oliver gives it 4 stars (86 points) but Halliday gives it 4.5 stars (90 points). Common agreement on cellaring though with recommended drinking from now to about 2014.

Phew! Well, that’s dealt with the As, Bs and Cs. The Bird in Hand merlot is the pick of the deals.

(PS – a glitch in the system yesterday screwed up some of the e-mails. Hopefully should be fixed now)


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 74 other followers

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

Advertisements