Posts Tagged 'Sparkling Shiraz'

Hold that recommendation! The old GST bug-bear…..

On Friday, I recommended the Peter Rumball sparkling shiraz as a great buy from Top Wines, and it is, but last night I received my invoice and much to my disappointment, GST had been added. The price wasn’t quoted with GST in the price list or order form (certainly not in an IRAS acceptable format), so whilst this is being sorted out with Top Wines, I’m putting my recommendation on hold.

Watch this space.

If you’ve any doubt about how prices should be quoted, have a look at:

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=824

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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.

The gods must be crazy…or think I am

When we lived out that way, I used to wander through the supermarket in Tanglin Road and notice the E&E Black Pepper Sparkling Shiraz on the shelf at around S$95. A great wine but I was never tempted. I wandered through there today, and I see it’s jumped to S$122. If you’re down that way, have a look. It’s the 2003 vintage but there’s no rush, as I expect it’ll be there for a while, a long while.

You see, that wine, and yes that vintage, sells in Australia for A$50 (winestar, winehouse) which means my slide rule calculation says it should sell here for around S$62, not S$122. And here’s the rub. You could buy the wine retail in Australia, ship it up on an A380 at S$10 a bottle airfreight, pay the duty and VAT and still land it at S$85 a bottle. Hell, if you bought 2 dozen, you’d save S$888 so you could fly down with just hand luggage to pick it up as that’s exactly what it cost me to fly down to Melbourne and back last week! But wait, there’s more…..if it came back as accompanied baggage you’d get the Australian WET and GST back at about A$9.50 a bottle. A silly idea of course, but you get the drift.

Not one to be deterred, I wandered into their cool room and spied the (non-sparkling) 2003 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, another terrific wine. At a terrific, or should I say terrifying, price. S$208. Gulp.

More research and I see it sells down-under for A$80, so a reasonable expectation would be around S$87 here. By the same process, you could buy it retail in Australia and ship it up airfreight and land it all up for around S$125. Hey, this looks even better – at a saving of S$83 a bottle, I might even be able to afford business class.


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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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