Posts Tagged 'vineyards direct'

Affordable Torbreck & Arlewood, and goodbye to Vineyards Direct

2003 / Torbreck / The Struie / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$69 at Wine Exchange Asia – Halliday rates this wine at 95 points drinking to 2018 and Oliver rates at 90, drinking 2008-2011+. Retailed in Australia at A$55 so at S$69 a reasonable deal for an older vintage, and one you don’t have to sit on to enjoy (but you can if you want to). If my own cellar wasn’t so full, I’d get some.

2005 / Arlewood / Margaret River / Shiraz / S$33.80 at Le Vigne – We’ve tried this wine ourselves, and whilst it’s not in the Barossa mould, it’s a good affordable shiraz. Halliday rates this wine at 91 points (4.5 star) and recommends drinking between now and 2018. RRP is A$22 so with Le Vigne’s usual 10% discount (no Nets or cards) the price comes down to less than $31 so that fits inside my BastardBox Index of comparative value.

If you didn’t know already, Vineyards Direct is ceasing its operation in Singapore as of today I understand. If you did know, then you’ve probably scoured their list and made your purchases already. There may be some unsold stock so keep your eyes peeled to see if any of it pops up in the market at special prices.

I’m speechless – a $100 difference in an $85 bottle of wine!

Surely that’s a misprint I hear you say. Apparently not.

The wine I’m talking of is the 2005 Elderton Command Barossa Valley Shiraz. Now, to put the record straight, I’m a BIG fan of this wine, so I’m usually on top of the pricing. I see that it’s available in Australia at A$80, which with my slide rule calculations suggest that a comparable price in Singapore might be around S$85. Without going into too much detail, I take the Australian retail price back to wholesale, take off the 29% wine excise tax and the 10% GST, convert it to S$, add back freight, Singapore duty and 7% vat, add back the mark up (i.e. double the cost so far) and there’s the start point for comparison. It’s not a perfect system but it’s usually not far out, and to prove my point, Wine Exchange in Singapore shows that they sold some Command at around S$87 in recent times. Not quite as attractive, but Vineyards Direct have regularly listed the 2005 Command at S$110.

So what’s the problem?

Well, I happened to be passing through Changi airport last night, and out the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of that familiar Elderton Command label in the duty free store, and 2005 to boot. Bet you can’t guess what it sells for duty free? Try S$168, (and showing a RRP of S$189). Huh?

I think the motto is “buy better with Bastard Box”

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 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?

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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