I bought the 2012 vintage from Brian Franklin back in August 2017, but I didn’t do a promo straight away as I thought I’d wait for some ratings.
After all these years, you’d think I would know better.
Brian doesn’t send his wines to raters (his wines sell out to his loyal clients) and only very occasionally will a bottle find its way to a review.
So here’s what I know about the 2012 Pinot.
First thing, it comes from about as far east as you can go in Tasmania, from a vineyard a little to the north of Bicheno. It was released after the 2013 vintage as Brian wanted to hold it back to let it soften a bit more. It was a big wine at youth (the only way Brian makes them) and it needed that extra time.
I”ll stick my neck out and say that it’s the last Pinot to be picked anywhere in Australia. It’s certainly the last to be picked in Tasmania, with picking usually taking place in the first week of May. Hell, on the mainland some Pinots would be picked, bottled, labelled and out to customers by then!
I can tell you that it’s listed in one of the MBS celebrity restaurants in Singapore, and it’s a personal favourite of one of the celebrity chefs.
I can also tell you that you should avoid drinking it.
Whoa! that might have stopped you in your tracks…but let me finish.
If you can, you should try and avoid drinking it without a big decant. Without a decant, it can be a bit pongy, and you’ll wonder what the fuss is about. But give it a big decant, and it will sing and you’ll underatnd why the loyal followers stay loyal. How big? Overnight if you can resist, but as a minimum, I’d let it breathe for an hour.
The wine is currently on the Apsley Gorge website ( http://apsleygorgevineyard.com) at A$65, but is being sold at the Pinot Shop in Launceston at A$75. It’s S$74 here and currently all of it is in Melbourne (18 bottles) so it can be here by around 9 August if ordered by 31 July. As usual, no minimum purchsase required.
You will always find a bottle of Apsley Gorge pinot in my cellar.
This is a first for Tiger Wines, a new addition from the Jackson Family range of high-end wines.
Just 600 cases were made and just 2 of those cases were allocated for Singapore.
With a retail price of US$80 at winery, the price here of S$110 is within a dollar or two of a direct exchange rate conversion. You can’t buy better than that.
This 2014 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Jackson Family Wines portfolio is currently listed on the La Jota website with the rider “limited availability, please enquire”, and is on offer by US retailers at US$100.
I got 24 bottles as part of my JFW allocation and there’s currently 13 left for sale.
I’m retailing it here at S$131 ea. which makes it spot on with a direct exchange conversion from the asking price in the US. It was released at US$85 but as Robert Parker noted, it was unlikely to remain at that price.
NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE
DAWSON JAMES, Tasmania: This is a restocking of the 2014 Pinot. The 2015 Dawson James wines will not be released until September 2018.
2014 Pinot Noir – 36 btls – S$84 – Halliday 97, Huon Hooke 95, Gold ’16 Melbourne Wine Show, Double Gold ’16 Six Nations Challenge and best Australian pinot.
2014 “Reveur” Pinot Noir – 12 btls – S$63 – Gary Walsh 87
2017 “Avance” Pinot Noir – 12 btls – S$47 – not yet rated
2016 “Mon Pere” Shiraz – 12 btls – S$69 – Huon Hooke 93
LAUREL BANK, Tasmania: This is a restocking as initial order sold quickly
2016 Riesling – 12 btls – S$43 – Huon Hooke 94, Silver ’18 Tas, Wine Show
Two new ratings since I promo’d this back in December 2016. Halliday (92) and Richard Hemming MW of jancisrobinson.com (17.5/20)
A$55 on release, S$65 here right now. 6 bottles in stock and ready to go. No minimum purchase. Nowhere else but Tiger Wines.
I promo’d this wine back in late 2017 (@ S$108) and it sold out. I got some more earlier this year in my Jackson Family Wines allocation so here it is again but this time with a couple of new ratings from James Suckling and Wine Spectator.
It’s also been repriced slightly, down to S$103 which according to my exchange rate calculations makes it exactly the same price that it was released in the US, i.e. US$75.
I’ve often heard people say that US wines are so expensive in Singapore. I can’t do much about the retail price over there, but I can make sure that by the time they get here (at least for the one’s I represent), the price remains fair.
Here’s the other ZENA CROWN wines in stock and all are S$ equivalent of US$ release price:
2014 “The Slope” Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir – 14 bottles – S$137 – Robert Parker 93+, James Suckling 92, Wine Spectator 92, Decanter 92
2014 “The Sum” Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir – 14 bottles – S$103 – Robert Parker 92, Wine Spectator 92