Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Tale of Two Wines

This is the story of two Australian Red Wines.

The first is “Masterpeace Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon” by Andrew Peace Wines, making a nice pun on the owner’s surname – not that Brian Binns of Binendwines would ever do such a thing!

This wine comes from the “catch-all” area of South East Australia, where vineyards along the Murray River valley straddle the three states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, hence the convoluted “regional” description. This is a vast area, where the making of wines often requires lorry trains of grapes being transported overnight to wineries to be vinified into wine. This is not to decry all wines from South East Australia, after all the vast majority of major branded wines come from here; brands such as Jacobs Creek, Hardy’s, Lindeman’s, etc, even brands on our website such as McGuigan Black Label and Runamok. However, there can be, and most certainly is, variable quality of fruit from such a vast area, and you can also be certain that where wines are produced to a price, they will not have the quality of others. However, how do we determine the price, and therefore the value and quality of such a wide selection of wines? Masterpeace Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was on sale at Morrison’s for £8.99, so you could be led to believe that this is a far better wine than one at say £6.99. However, it was only on sale at that price so it could be put on a “half-price” promotion for a few weeks at £4.49, before reverting to its £8.99 level for another few months. Additionally, you can be assured that Morrison’s, along with every other supermarket chain that uses this promotional trick, bought this wine at an advantageous cost price which reflects the £4.49 price tag. Now we’re not saying that Masterpeace Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a poor wine, it most certainly isn’t, and we have it listed at Binendwines. The difference is that our price is a permanent £4.49 – well until we sell the limited stock we have. We would suggest its value is around the £5-£5.50 mark. Incidentally, this wine was shipped in bulk and bottled in the UK. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, many other wines are, but it just highlights that this is an everyday, quaffing wine, and not an £8.99 one.

The second wine is Geoff Merrill’s S.G.M. This is what the wine world calls a classic Rhône style, being a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre. It was made by one of Australia’s best winemakers, from grapes grown on their own Estate in the one of the most prestigious regions in the whole of Australia, McLaren Vale. The wine we have at Binendwines is the 2006 vintage, which scored 90 points in the “Wine 100” magazine. This wine was not only made from the very best fruit, it was also aged in small oak barrels and not bottled until 2009. It is a wine made from the winemakers own grapes, and bottled at the winemakers. This wine is improving as every year passes and will drink well into 2014. It is a very powerful, complex and luscious wine, able to complement any red meat dish. Now we’re not trying to directly compare the style and quality of this wine to the wine above, they are two totally different entities, and both appropriate for the occasion to which they are suited. To give you some idea of this wine’s quality, it sells on other websites at prices up to £13, with its RRP even higher.
However, at Binendwines we are offering this wine, in very limited quantities, for just £7.95.

So, here’s the important question. Which wine would you rather put in your shopping basket? The Masterpeace at £8.99 in Morrison’s, or the Geoff Merrill S.G.M. at £7.95 at Binendwines?
Alternatively, to add a third option, why not buy the Masterpeace at £4.49 at Binendwines, for everyday drinking; and the Merrill at £7.95 for your weekend roast?

Click on this link for all of our Australian Reds:

Nb Although Morrison’s stock other Masterpeace varietals at £8.99; to the best of our knowledge, they don’t now stock the Cabernet Sauvignon.