Wine for Dragons

Singapore Wine Blog... Wine Reviews and Tastings... Review of Wine bars and Wine accessories...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wine Entry : GranMonte Primavera Syrah 2003 (Thailand)

Was holidaying in Bangkok a week ago and went around the supermarkets and shops. Generally found the wines there highly prized, even a bottle of common Aussie wine found in Singapore was about 2X the prices here. Though I found an interesting wine at Bangkok's upmarket Emporium and it was Thailand's own wine from the Northern part of the country. The rest were pretty pedestrian, but one stuck as particularly interesting. I understand from the lady, who I believe was a staff of the vineyard, that they had send this bottle of Primavera Syrah for the Awards Competition during Wine for Asia.
It has a wonderful intense bouquet of typical black current shriaz, but the taste was full bodied with some chilli spice sharpness that was refreshing! It would have gone very well with the Thai fish cakes. Selling to for a relatively inexpensive S$30 (after conversion). However, they do not import it into Singapore, so unlikely we will get to taste it any time soon.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wine Sale : Vinum at Scotts (12th to 20th Oct)


Vinum has just recently opened their newly renovated outlet at Scotts. Compared to the pre-renovated shop, I find the new outlet refreshing modern, chic and inviting. The entrance opens up to right with bottles displays and the cashier, on the left is a work space and more displays and in front is a sizeable wine cellar with many exquisite and hard to find magnums of rare, expensive wines. Probably I'd visited at the right time during lunch too, without too much of a crowd, the sales people were happily offering their assistance and recommendations.

Thought I’d had better update this post soon for my readers to catch the sale, sorry I couldn’t get it done earlier as I was in Thailand. (Another post coming up on the discovery I made there!) Vinum is having a sale now from the 12th to 20th Oct 2007. The price list is here [Thanks to Dan from Winekakis for posting it !]

Felt that the Sauternes were the best value buys, so bought the half bottles of 2002 Rayne Vigneau for $27 (usual $31) and the 2002 Suduirant for $34 (usual $40).

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wine Hub : Dempsey Hill Visit 09 Oct 2007 (Part III)

Third and final part of the review of the new Dempsey Hill area.
The group of us, (comprising of Kong, Jasmine, Mervin and Peter) finally settled on Wine Network for dinner and drinks.

Kong and Jasmine frequent the place very often and so know the service staff extremely well. We had a white wine from New Zealand first followed by a red from South Africa. I apologise for the poor quality pics because the lighting in the restaurant was not the most conducive for photo taking

La Reserve Chadonnay 2002

Notes from the menu : The gold label medal winning style of the La Reserve has been maintained in this luscious chardonnay exhibiting aromas of melon and peach. Matured in new French oak for 12 months, the wine opens out to an elegant well balanced palate with a lingering and classical finish. Alcohol content 14%.

Own tasting notes : Nice peach aromas, dominated by cool climate green fruits, quite sharp acidity at the end. Would go exceedingly well with a grilled fish fillet or crisp salad.

Saxenburg Private Collection Shiraz 2003 Stellenbosch

Own tasting notes : Intriguing fruity scents with an upfront palate of ripened fruits. A nice mellow middle and a relatively quick finish. A touch of spice and pepper, but not predominating. A nice accompaniment for dinner.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Wine Hub : Dempsey Hill Visit 09 Oct 2007 (Part II)


This is the second part of the review of the new Dempsey Hill area. The next location I wanted to share was Culina. This is part of the chain of fine foods grocer. It took up quite a significant floor space and is a restaurant-supermarket mix. They also have a wine counter bar-like set up where customers can sample some of the recommended wine. During that afternoon, almost half of the seats were taken with patrons sipping refreshing wines, whilst leisurely chatting away. The set up of the place was modern and clean lines with the wines the first displays that you see. They have a number of half-bottles Burgundies as well as an adorable small 50-100 ml (my guess) Inniskillin Ice Wine bottle going for S$11. I have seen it at DFS too, but I think they sell it in packs of 6 or more.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wine Hub : Dempsey Hill Visit (09 Oct 2007)

I have not been down to Dempsey Road recently. When I was invited for dinner with Wine Course mates there yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised at the astonishing transformation. When originally I used to hang out at The Wine Company, the place was a sleepy, ulu (off the beaten track) forested area. Now with the setting up of a whole street of al fresco bars, pubs and restaurants, the newly coined Dempsey Hill is bustling with vibrancy and excitement. However, it has been infused to retain a quaint and bohemian relaxed environment, akin to an oasis of calm culture in a city dictated by efficiency and modernization. Perhaps what they need a few more Art-cum-Restaurant outlets to extenuate that feeling. The National Art Council should consider bringing in some shows and art galleys; they will be a perfect fit. For a Tuesday evening, when I was there, most restaurants already had guests opening a few bottles of wine and having a leisurely snack and cheese before dinner. The place is still dominated by expats and well-heeled socialites, but I am sure it will be discovered by more yuppie locals soon.
The first place I visited related to wine was Angel’s Share restaurant and wine bar managed by
wine retailers The Ninth Vine. The “Angel’s share” name is unique as it describes is the portion of wine that disappears from the barrel during the ageing process. Myth has it that an angel “accepts” the offering of wine, to which she graciously returns many extra dimensions of flavour to the remaining wine in the barrel.
As can be seen from the pictures, they have done a great job furnishing the place with both outdoor and indoor interior design with both about 3000 sq ft each. The layout of the outdoor with the lush greenery and forest setting is reminiscence of a Balinese style spa resort, and from the interior it looks like modern sophisticated Aussie winery cellar door.
I found that the wine cellar itself was pretty cramped and did not offer much space to move and choose wines. Also most of the bottles were horizontal, great for ageing, but not so great for selecting a wine. Perhaps having a display bottle or label beside the designated shelf will help. But as I understood from the waitress, most of their guests would rather have them recommend than choose themselves. Angel’s Share wine list was Aussie biased, though they had a range of New Zealand, French, American, Chilean wines too. They are definitely on the higher end of the wine spectrum in terms of pricing.
Another great thing I found on their website, is that they have a designated driver program. i.e. a personal chauffeur service that will drive you back in the comfort of your own vehicle, so you can drink to your heart’s content.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wine Entry : Saints Vineyard Selection 2003 Gisborne Noble Semillon (New Zealand)

Probably purchased this bottle of sweet white at New Zealand duty free shop for NZ17, or about S$19-20 dollars. It does not have the intensity of a thoroughbred Sauternes wine, but still very enjoyable to drink with seafood or chicken dishes.

Smell : Puncturing wafts of honey and citrus aromas

Taste : Smooth and delicate almost like a runny lemon-lime marmalade jam

After taste : Tangy with nice mellow finish with no bitterness at the end

Description at back of bottle : From the clay soils of the Patuthi vineyard comes a Sauternes style wine displaying intense semillon flavours of orange peel lemon blosson and drier fruit intertwined with a hint of smoky oak rich honeyed apricot and toasted hazel nuts