Please note: this is a work in progress, and not ready for prime time.
Best Buys by Merchant
The big guys
We used to list the weekly specials for Woolworths and Coles outlets, so subscribers could walk into their Dan Murphy’s or 1st Choice on the weekend and grab the Best Buys. Other subscribers then wrote in complaining that they couldn’t find the specials we published in their stores. That’s because the specials of the big guys vary from state to state and even from store to store. For example, Dan Murphy’s at Many Vale often has local specials to match Bayfields up the road in Dee Why. The same happens in Melbourne, Brisbane and elsewhere.
Dan Murphy’s runs regular online specials which we can assume are nationwide. The problem with those is that they only last for a few days, and that makes it impossible for us. The specials last a bit longer at 1st Choice and Vintage Cellars, but they’re rarely competitive these days.
At BWU$20 we do our best to promote independent retailers who’ve found a way to compete with the big guys online, and still offer personal service and a more interesting range of wines. They also tend to hold their prices for weeks rather than days, so we’ve re-introduced Best Buys by merchant as of June 2015, starting with Kemenys and Bayfields. We will add others over the next few weeks
Kemenys produces a catalogue every two months, and the deals listed in it last for that period until stocks run out. The best deals here are found under the Hidden labels so we’ve focused on these for the moment.
- Hidden Label Margret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2014 – $11, this is Miles from Nowhere Best Blocks, from Franklin Tate (Evans & Tate)
- Hidden Label Pemberton Chardonnay 2014- $13. Fine Chardonnay from Bellarmine, a great little boutique in the Great Southern of WA
- Hidden Label Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris 2013 – $13, this is Sidewood Pinot Gris from the Adelaide Hills, it’s rich and ripe and ready to drink
- Devil’s Ridge Block 21 Hunter Semillon 2014 – $10 This is Kemenys’ cleanskin label, which hides some pleasant surprises. A great little Semillon and drinking well already
- Ravenshead Cabernet Merlot 2012 – $10 and they’ll throw in a case Becks. One for drinking, not keeping
- Hidden Label Coonawarra Merlot 2013 – $12. Leconfield Merlot, a $20 wine and one of our best Merlots. This is a classy number.
- Miamup Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – $10. Off the scale on drinkability. It’s a made-up label but who cares?
- Hidden Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – $12. Wynns The Siding Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, a bloody good wine.
- Hidden Label Hilltops Cabernet Saquviognon 2013 – $13, this is Moppity Lock & Key Reserve Cabernet 2013, a $20 wine, rich and ripe but stylish.
- Hidden Label Margaret River Cab Sauv 2012 – $13. Franklin Tate Alexander’s Cabernet 2012 – $21 elsewhere. Lovely, classy and classic Margaret River Cabernet
- Hidden Label Margaret River Shiraz 2012 – $12, this is Franklin Tate Alexander’s Shiraz 2012 – $21 elsewhere. More finesse than Barossa Shiraz
Another Sydney-based independent, and another family business. They own a number of hotels and use their combined buying power to get super deals on commercial lines. Their online service is marred by vintages that almost always out of date – in other words, you don’t know what vintage a wine is unless you call them which is an option since they actually pick up the phone. They publish a catalog too, which can download HERE, and it tells you how long its valid for – June 23 2015 for the present one. Here are our picks:
- Yealands Land Made Marlborough Sauv/Blanc $13.90
- De Bortoli Deen Vat 7 Chardonnay – $8.90
- Rockbare McLaren Vale Chardonnay – $16.90
- Elefante Blanco – $8.80
- Whither Hills Pinot Gris 2013 – $12
- St Clair Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir $15
- Teusner The Riebke Barossa Shiraz – $17.70
- Seppelts Chalambar Shiraz – $16.90
- Elderton High Altitude Cab/Sauv $16.90
- Lindauer Special Reserve NV $13
- Chandon NV – $20