Posts Tagged 'singapore'

Minchinbury Sparkling Burgundy did the trick, apparently

Yes, Tiger Wines is a one man band! If you’ve wondered how those Tasmanian wines get to Singapore, here’s how the journey starts for some shipments. I can get 30 cases in there, put the car on the Spirit of Tasmania (no surprise, they have a good Tassie wine selection in their restaurant), grab a sleep across the Bass Strait, repack the wine for protection and then off to Melbourne airport and into the care of DHL.

2014-07-18 Miena2

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You’ve probably never heard of Mount Cathedral Wines but they’ve managed to get caught in James Halliday’s radar. In the 2014 Australian Wine Companion, he listed them as one of the “Ten Dark Horses” and awarded the winery a 5 star rating. Every time I visit Australia, I invariably drive past the turn-off to the winery so it makes sense to call in, collect some wine, and bring it up here for others to enjoy. I’m starting with:

2012 Chardonnay (JH94) $46

2010 Merlot (JH94) $46

2012 Merlot (JH94) $46

2012 Cab Merlot (JH95) $46

2010 Reserve Cabernet (JH95) $63.

Give me yell on tigerwines@singnet.com.sg if you’d like to see what the fuss is about. And no, you won’t find it anywhere else outside Australia.

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Congratulations to Rick Burge and his Burge Family Winemakers on getting 5 star status and 95 points for his 2012 Olive Hill Shiraz in the 2015 Australian Wine Companion.

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Some ordinary deals here, nothing much to get too excited about, just a few.

2010 / Casa Freschi / La Signora / Adelaide Hills / White Blend / $59 at Booze.com – This white blend is made up of either every grape you love, or every grape you hate. It’s a mixture of Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, and Pinot Grigio. Who would have thought? Huon Hooke didn’t think much of it giving it only 81 points but he did talk about oxidation so maybe it was a spoiled bottle (but its shouldn’t be if under screwcap). Lisa Perotti-Brown of Wine Advocate was kinder at 90 but suggested drinking by 2014. So, not much time left then. With a RRP of A$29, the pricing here looks a little ambitious. BBI♥♥♥

2012 / Saint Clair / Pioneer Block 14 Doctors Creek / Marlborough / Pinot Noir / $45 or $42.20 by the six pack at Cornerstone Wines – I’ve never quite worked out why Saint Clair need to give their wines two identifying names. I would have thought that either Pioneer Block 14 or Doctors Creek would get the tractor to the right paddock but apparently not. I suppose there could be two Pioneer Block 14s or two Doctors Creeks but Marlborough’s not that big, surely. Bob Campbell puts it just into his “above average” range and with a RRP of NZ$34, the pricing is pretty good, but I’m still giving it…BBI♥♥♥

2002 / Lakes Folly / Hunter Valley / Cabernets / $79 at Wine Exchange Asia – The older they are, the harder they are to value. This came on the market at A$45 and took a bit of a roller-coaster ride on the secondary market in Australia. Halliday gave it 93, but he also said drink it by 2010. Hmmm. What’s going on here? Well, someone must know something that James didn’t when he reviewed it on release as the last auction price, this year, was A$58 and the trend is up. On that basis, I’m giving it…BBI♥♥♥♥

2012 / Two Hands / Gnarly Dudes / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / $51 at Straits Wine Company – Not the greatest Two Hands (Huon Hooke 91, Wine Advocate 89) but it’s a fair price and it’s only a young’un. BBI♥♥♥♥

2004 / by Farr / Geelong / Shiraz / $69 or $59 by the six pack at Wine Exchange Asia – The first of the wines today that’s managed 95 points, this time from James Halliday, with Campbell Mattinson at 91. Campbell says you should have been drinking this watching the 2012 Singapore F1 GP, whilst James thinks you could still (just) quaff it at this year’s race whilst barracking for Daniel Ricciardo. James didn’t say that about Ricciardo, I did. Tough call this one but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt. BBI♥♥♥♥

2012 / Hentley Farm / Caretaker / Shiraz / $45 each if you buy two at Straits Wine Company and only until 31st August. With RRP of A$20, it’s got fair pricing and fair ratings (Halliday 92, Wine Advocate 89) so it gets fair stars. BBI♥♥♥♥

2011 / Mills Reef / Elspeth Trust / Hawke’s Bay / Syrah / $59 at Wine Exchange Asia – Bob Campbell 93 which is in his “excellent, top quality” range and that’s what he says about this wine; “classy, elegant wine”. RRP of NZ$45 so good pricing here and deserves it stars. BBI♥♥♥♥

2006 / d’Arenberg / The Dead Arm / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / $69 at Wine Exchange Asia – How much Dead Arm ended up in investment portfolios in Singapore? A lot I’m guessing! I reviewed this vintage back in 2010 and it’s still around. The investor is the loser and if you like your McLaren Vale shiraz, you are the winner. The last Langton’s auction price on this downunder was A$55. Add the buyers premium and delivery and you’d be talking around A$70 to get your hands on this wine. S$65 is looking pretty good isn’t it? Life’s not that tough in the “far east” after all (just don’t tell anyone). Oh, I forgot to mention, Gary Walsh 95, Wine Advocate 95+, James Halliday 95 blah, blah blah…BBI♥♥♥♥

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WINESPEAK 101 – How to waffle with the best of them.

Over the last 12 months or so, I have often referred to one of my favourite wine websites www.winewilleatitself.com, in fact I referred to the blog and Jeremy Pringle in my most recent post. Sadly, Jeremy is no longer with us.

Please have a look at the link for a better farewell than I could ever give.

http://www.winefront.com.au/vale-jeremy-pringle/#.U_MsbCiRBaG

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“The most memorable moments can be had right in your own home, with a chafing dish. Imagine just two of you, with HIM right there beside you, cooking in the light of the flames from under the dish and from the hearth, plus a delicious bottle of Minchinbury Sparkling Burgundy or Dalwood Hermitage Claret to keep that flame aglow in your heart.” – Wine Talk, Mrs Rada Penfold Russell, Penfolds Advertising Director approx 1978

 

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You be the judge

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand wine pricing in Singapore (and that’s why bastardboxwine.wordpress.com exists!) but sometimes I get truly flummoxed.

I got a recent promo from Vineyards Direct offering a mixed dozen of 4 each of 2007 shiraz, 2005 cabernet and 2006 merlot all by Penny’s Hill from McLaren Vale at a price of S$576 by the dozen or indicating S$54 each not by the dozen.

I only have specific data on the 2007 Penny’s Hill shiraz which Halliday rates at 90 points (4.5 star) drinking 2010-2020. Fine, but the RRP is shown as A$27 (S$34). My little bit of scouring the internet revealed that the cabernet and the merlot sell in Australia retail at around A$22-A$24. You can apparently get a dozen of the Penny’s Hill shiraz in London for GBP 179 or the equivalent of S$377. So why is Vineyard Direct special price S$576?

You wouldn’t think that Australia was currently “long” (overproduced) 100 million cases of wine, would you?

What is Bastard Box?

Bastard Box is a trademark registered wine from the Upper Goulburn wine growing area in Victoria, Australia. It’s about 2 hours NE of Melbourne and about an hour further on from the Yarra Valley.

The name Bastard Box came about because the trees growing on the property were referred to by the early settlers as just that – bastard box, box being a common name for a type of gum tree. The settlers said the wood was “a bastard to burn” (true) and “a bastard to work with”. The name also happens to fit nicely with my nickname “Box” and well….the rest is history.

Like all great wineries, we’ve started with a label and a name. No wine, just a label and a name. Oh, did I mention we only have 120 vines. Well, last time I looked we had 120, but the wombats might have got to some in the meantime. I’ll keep you posted on our progress towards our first vintage.

Whilst we’re waiting for the vines to bear fruit, I’m using this blog to help people who live in Singapore (like us) make better choices when buying Australian or New Zealand wine in Singapore. “Sticker shock” is an understatement when first venturing into wine stores in Singapore, but with research and help, you CAN buy decent down under wines in Singapore at a decent price. You just have to do your homework.

And that’s where BastardBoxWine comes in.

On a purely random basis, I have a look at what’s being offered and sort out the wheat from the chaff. I’m 100% independent (well, I do rely on my wife to throw some cash my way from time to time), meaning no affiliations with any of the distributors or retailers. The ratings I quote come from reputable sources (James Halliday, Jeremy Oliver etc) so the opinions are not mine, but the data base is.

Best of all, it’s free.

So, if you’re tired of wandering into that Singapore supermarket and paying $30 for a wine that sells at Dan Murphys in Australia for less than $10, tune in to BastardBoxWines on a regular basis and see how you can buy decent wines at a reasonable price, and hopefully lift the quality of your drinking without breaking the bank.

Cheers

Bastard Box


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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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