Monday, April 30, 2012

Ultra Value

Ultra Liquor’s wine buyer Mark Norrish is a player of note: he plays a mean game of boulle; he plays skilled negotiator and he plays the stock markets - he is often ahead of the curve. Long before the age of austerity Mark was ferreting out great value-for-money wines including from South America.

Members of the wine trade resent paying full prices for wine, it’s a valuable wine fact and we love trade exchanges. One of the few regrets I have since entering the trade is finding great wine at great prices – not anymore.



A recent tasting of Mark’s selections was nothing short of mind-boggling. Own brand Secret Cellar 2007 Blanc de Blanc was delicious and the price of R49.99 made it absolutely delicious. Ja that’s 2007 and R49.99! But that’s not all, this wine’s complexity is enhanced by some oak on the base wine and extended lees contact in the bottle. Ja R49.99 and four stars in Wine Magazine.



Then, for a mere R29.99, Secret Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 07 is another steal. This has got many classic hallmarks of a Cab including cedar wood, cassis and savoury tannins. Again the mind-boggled, R29.99.

The Sauvigon Blanc 2011 (Table Bay range) was just how I like it - steely and minerally with grapefruit - way to serious for R29.99!  The Chenin was tropical yet tangy and at R26.99 should carry a health warning.

Mark also imports some Champagne and you can get Bonnaire Brut for R169 but the Secret Cellar was better in my book and you can get three for the price of one. If you want Champagne get the Brut Rose at R239, red fruit on the nose with a beautifully austere palate.

The Secret Cellar suppliers may vary from year to year, but the Table Bay range is from regular suppliers with similar prices. They both represent fanatstic value for money so you can buy them by the case without feeling too guilty.



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